Wood tick season has started early in Saskatchewan thanks to the mild weather and lack of snow.
Neil Chilton, professor in the Biology department at the University of Saskatchewan, said they have had a couple submissions of ticks already.
Chilton said it is rare that wood ticks are out this early, but it’s not like this hasn’t happened before.
“Certainly compared to the last few years I would say it’s earlier than normal,” he explained. “It’s usually where the snow has melted and we’ve got reasonably warm temperatures, so it’s really a seasonal thing and will vary from year to year.”
Chilton told News Talk Radio that wood tick season in Saskatchewan is from mid-to-late April to sometime in July. Chilton points out the western portion of the province might see wood ticks earlier than the east.
Chilton said you will probably find ticks in areas with tall grass and no snow.
There is two dominant types of wood ticks in Saskatchewan: the American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain wood tick. Chilton said both look identical and are brownish in colour.
The Blacklegged tick is the one that carries Lyme disease, and its presence is rare in Saskatchewan.
“This is the tick that is brought in to the province predominantly by birds, migratory birds, and that’s a slightly smaller tick and it tends to be a redish-orange colour,” he explained.
Chilton said when wood ticks come out in full force, it is important to check your animals after walks and tuck your pant legs into your socks so it is more difficult for ticks to attach to you.