Tick bite symptoms vary on a case by case basis. The exact symptoms depend on the species of tick and the severity of the allergic reaction to the bite. Tick bites frequently produce blisters or rashes on the skin of the victim. A distinctive red spot commonly develops at the site of the bite, as well. Other common symptoms of tick bites include uncoordinated movement and general weakness. The bites of certain tick species can also generate severe pain or swelling. In serious cases which demand immediate medical attention, tick bites may cause the victim to develop chest pain or heart palpitations, laboured breathing, a severe headache, or even paralysis. Medical attention should also be sought for the development of a fever, stiff neck, joint pain or muscle aches, sensitivity to light, swollen lymph nodes, or flu-like symptoms, as these indicators may signal the incubation of a tick-borne disease.
The risk of contracting disease from a tick bite remains high in areas known to support large populations of ticks. In fact, researchers contend that ticks spread more diseases than any other type of arthropod. Ticks spread disease by serving as vectors for bacterial, protozoan, and viral pathogens, which the biting ectoparasites transmit from one host to another. Canadians are increasingly exposed to the dangers of ticks as the parasitic pests become more prevalent across the country. Ticks in Canada transmit Lyme disease more commonly than other.
Lyme disease is a serious illness capable of afflicting humans as well as pets. Symptoms range from little or no effects to recurring arthritis, numbness or paralysis, and problems with the nervous system. When left untreated, Lyme disease symptoms can persist for years and may even result in death, though fatalities are rare.
Black-legged Tick Bites
Black-legged ticks also remain capable of spreading pathogens that cause other illnesses. In addition to Lyme disease, the hazardous parasites have the ability to transmit Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA), human babesiosis, and encephalitis. Other tick species are known to spread disease in Canada as well.
Introduced to the country by migrating birds, Rocky Mountain wood ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), while American dog ticks spread tularaemia. The Public Health Agency of Canada identifies the southern areas of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec as the primary locations where infected ticks are most commonly found in the country. Parts of Nova Scotia also support established populations of the potentially dangerous parasites.
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Are ticks ticking you off? Ticks are not only a nuisance, but also can cause serious health issues with the pathogens they transmit. Knowing how to prevent and respond to tick bites is incredibly important to protect you and your family from these blood-sucking pests.
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After a day full of adventuring, playing or relaxing outdoors, the last thing you want to find is a tick sucking up your blood. While these pests don’t present much of a threat to well-built homes with maintained exclusionary measures, they can be found feeding on humans or pets after spending time outdoors in wooded areas. If you find a tick on yourself or your furry friend, it is important to remove it as quickly and safely as possible.
Avoid Painful Pests This Canada Day
Barbeques, fireworks, parades and…bug bites? While each of these activities are perfect for summer celebrations like Canada Day, summertime is also the ideal season for biting and stinging pests to come out in full force. Identifying which of these pests might make an appearance in your backyard can help you take the steps necessary to protect your home – and potential party guests – from their painful bites.
Ticks are blood-sucking parasites commonly found throughout Canada. Peak tick season for nymphs usually occurs during the spring and summer months, while adults are a threat in the late fall.