Local Health Unit Kicks Off Tick Surveillance Program

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has started its tick surveillance program.

Four people from the Environmental Health Department were dressed head to toe in white as they dragged a white cloth over the grass at the Ojibway Nature Centre looking for ticks.

"To see if the ticks will attach to a white cloth and at that point, whatever ticks are attached, we will send them for identification," says Certified Health Inspector Elaine Bennett.

In 2017, 386 ticks were submitted for identification, 32 were black-legged ticks and two tested positive for the disease.

Bennett says it wants to determine where the black-legged ticks have been established in the region which is the main concern because it spreads Lyme disease.

She says prevention is key for people who are outdoors.

"It is always a good idea to wear light-coloured clothing, stay covered up which means long sleeve shirts, pants and go ahead tuck those pants into your socks for added protection and wear deet."

Given last year's numbers, Bennett says although the risk is low, it is still a risk.

Gestwood Camp, the Chrysler Greenway in Amherstburg and Ruscom Conservation Area will also be dragged this summer.

If someone is bitten by a tick, they are asked to remove it with a pair of tweezers or a 'tick key' and contact your doctor.


The Environmental Heath Dept. at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit begins tick surveillance. May 17, 2018 (Photo by AM800's Teresinha Medeiros)