Tick Talk

Ticks and Lyme Disease

In the news July 18, 2019, Lyme-infected ticks are so common in parts of Canada, testing is no longer done.

See what the Government of Nova Scotia is saying about Ticks and Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected blacklegged tick. In Nova Scotia, only the blacklegged tick carries the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, and not all blacklegged ticks carry the bacteria.

Ticks attach to the skin and feed on blood. In most cases, a tick carrying the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease must attach and feed for at least 24 hours before the bacteria can be transmitted.

Lyme disease cannot be transmitted by touching, kissing or being near an infected person.

How can you protect yourself from Lyme disease?

Nova Scotians are encouraged to spend time outdoors, be active and remember to protect yourselves against tick bites, which is the best way to prevent Lyme disease.

There are several ways to prevent or reduce contact with ticks when in areas with long grass, shrubs, leaf litter, woods, urban parks and gardens:

  • Reduce the risk of having a tick bite;
  • Apply insect repellents containing DEET or Icaridin to exposed skin and clothes. Follow directions on the package carefully;
  • Wear light colored, long sleeved shirts and pants, closed-toe shoes;
  • Tuck shirts into pants and tuck pant legs into socks;
  • Walk on well-traveled paths, avoiding high grass and vegetation;
  • Reduce ticks around your home;
  • Keep lawns mowed short;
  • Remove leaf litter; and
  • Put playground equipment in sunny, dry places, away from wooded areas, yard edges, and trees.

To access more information about simple landscaping techniques to reduce the number of blacklegged ticks around your home, please see the Landscape Management Handbook.

For complete information and further resources visit the Department of Health & Wellness website. 

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