Great Egret

Great Egret

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Important message if you spend time outside!

Ticks are out. Not just the presumably harmless Wood Tick (a.k.a. Dog Tick) but the really nasty Deer Tick (a.k.a. Black-legged Tick), which is the prime vector for transmitting Lyme Disease. Wood Ticks are the larger of the two; in fact they are several times larger than the Deer Tick.

Wood Tick

Deer Tick
Both images show the adults. The scary part is that the nymphs, which can also transmit Lyme Disease, are considerably smaller. In fact a really young nymph of the Deer Tick is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Size is one way to tell them apart, but if you look closely, you can see that the coloration and pattern on the dorsal (back) side is different as well.

I have contracted Lyme Disease at least 6 times over the course of my tramping around places like Rondeau for more than 40 years. I posted a fairly extensive blog post about it a year ago, and you can read about it here.

I made a follow-up post a little later, which is shown here.

In some jurisdictions, May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. To learn more about what the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation has to offer in terms of science, awareness and support, check out their link.

Enjoy the outdoors, but be safe!

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