Deer ticks are already being found on Howe Island again in 2007 and articles are now appearing in the Whig Standard and Gananoque Reporter. IXODES SCAPULARIS. Also known as the “deer tick” or “blacklegged tick”. This species is a parasite of a variety of wild and domestic animals, and will attack humans. It is about 1/8in (3mm) or less in length. Bites are painful. It occurs in Eastern North America, and has been reported from Long Point Ontario. They’re abundant on Thwartway Island and to a lesser degree on Grenadier and Hill Islands and at Landons Bay. The Deer Tick is a potential vector of Lyme Disease, Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA) and of Babesia sp. (a malaria-like infection of red blood cells). At least six from Howe Island have been sent to a Winnipeg government lab in early November, but have all tested negative for Lyme. Howe Island has an overabundance of deer to help distribute the tick. At least one case of Lyme disease has been confirmed in the area this year. The Jefferson County Public Health Department, through NCPR reports that there were 2 cases of Lyme Disease diagnosed last year and 13 cases up to the end of October in 2006.
Sprays containing Deet are effective deterrents, and local veterinarians have effective products to protect pets.
If you have any questions, please call KFL&A Public Health at 613-549-1232 or 1-800-267-7875 or visit http://www.healthunit.on.ca/factsheets/dp.cfm?action=Fact_Sheets_Details&ContentID=97.
Any collected deer ticks should be delivered to the Health Office in Gananoque for testing.
(Reprinted from an October 2006 posting on the Howe Island ‘Friends’ website.)