June 2nd 2022
The black-legged tick is a small arthropod that feeds by latching onto the skin of mammals of all sizes–including humans. Some ticks carry a bacteria that causes Lyme disease, which they can transfer to people they have bitten.
The black-legged tick is increasingly common in southern Quebec and spreading north. Luckily, there are simple precautions that help prevent tick bites while or after hiking.
Here are five anti-tick tactics!
Stay on the trails: Ticks are found most often on branches, understory vegetation and in tall grass.
Cover up: Wear long pants, closed shoes and tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from crawling up your pant legs.
Wear light-colored clothes: Adult ticks can be as tiny as a poppy seed. Light clothing makes it easier to spot them.
Apply bug spray: A bug spray containing DEET can help keep ticks and other biting insects away. Apply on exposed skin, avoiding your face.
Shower when you get home: It can take up to 24 hours for a tick to find a suitable place to attach to your body. A shower within two hours of a hike will wash away any unattached ticks while also providing a good opportunity to thoroughly inspect your skin.
To know the risk of contracting Lyme disease in your region, consult the INSPQ's disease acquisition risk map.
You have been bitten by a tick? Learn how to remove it.
Want to know more about Lyme disease? Consult the Government of Quebec's rubric.