Ticks and Lyme Disease
The Brant County Health Unit will send away ticks that are found on people to find out if they are the black legged ticks. Black legged ticks or deer ticks are known to be able to carry and transmit Lyme disease. If the lab determines they are a black legged tick, then they go on more testing to see if the tick is carrying the virus that causes Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is an infection resulting from a bite from an infected blacklegged (deer) tick. Not all black legged ticks carry the virus that causes Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. Blacklegged ticks can be found in many areas across Ontario.
If you find a tick on yourself or a family member, follow these steps to remove it and bring it to the Brant County Health Unit to be sent for testing. Do not crush or damage the tick when attempting to remove it.
- Use fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the ticks head as close to your skin as possible.
- Pull the tick straight out gently without twisting or squeezing.
- Wash skin with soap and water and the disinfect skin and hands rubbing alcohol.
- Put the tick in a secure container (ex. bottle with screw-on lid).
- Bring the tick to the Brant County Health Unit.
New for 2019: You can now submit a photo of a tick to eTick.ca for identification. Visit the site for instructions on how to take and submit photos of a tick.
- Cover feet, arms and legs with closed-toe shows, and light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Tuck pant legs into socks.
- Apply bug spray with DEET or Icaridin on skin and clothing (put on bug spray after applying sunscreen).
- After you get home from the outdoors, check yourself, family members, and pets for ticks right away.
- Have a shower or bath within two hours of being outdoors.
If you feel sick or notice any of the following symptoms after being bitten by a tick, see your doctor and tell them you were bitten.
- Circular red rash around the bite
- Swollen glands
- Dry cough
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches
- Stiff neck