If you see people walking around in what look like a beekeepers suit, dragging a sheet through a field, don’t be alarmed. It’s just a member of a local health unit “dragging for ticks.”
It’s just one of the active surveillance techniques being used to try and track the potential spread of Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus in Ontario.
Cases of Lyme Disease, caused by female black legged ticks, affected more than 2,000 people in Canada in 2017. That's up from just 150 cases just 10 years ago.
And after years of decline, human cases of West Nile Virus nearly doubled last year to 365.
Health Units across Canada are doing a combination of tick dragging and setting up mosquito traps to try and follow where the disease-carrying mosquitos and ticks are.
To avoid getting bitten, those heading outdoors should wear long sleeves, long pants and bug spray, as well as avoiding mosquito breeding areas, especially around dawn and dusk.