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We caught up with an expert on the subject. Try not to shiver watching these little blood suckers.

These blood-sucking critters thriving in Prairie heat


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    Andrea Bagley
    Digital Reporter

    Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 10:38 AM - Although the early arrival of spring and warmer temperatures has residents shedding layers across Saskatchewan, blood-sucking critters are thriving in the heat. Ticks.

    "In the last 20 years, this is probably the earliest I've seen ticks," said Regina veterinarian Lesley Sawa in a CBC report.

    According to Sawa, the warmer weather has migratory birds heading north into Saskatchewan earlier than normal. Those birds can carry ticks with them. Typically, the arrival of ticks usually comes in May through June, but the parasites are already showing up on dogs and cattle in Saskatchewan.

    Pet owners are being urged to do a thorough tick check if their dog or animal ventures into a densely wooded area. For humans, covering up completely is the best protection. If you're out in tall grass, officials recommend tucking your pant legs into your socks.

    DEER TICKS AND LYME DISEASE

    Although the deer tick is not common in Saskatchewan, it can transmit Lyme disease to dogs and humans.

    The disease is a serious illness and symptoms can include fatigue, fever, headaches and skin rash. Due to the minuscule size of the insect, bites are mainly painless and can go unnoticed until symptoms set in. Tick bites often resemble a 'bull's eye,' a red bite mark surrounded by rings of red, swollen skin.

    Officials say most ticks found in Saskatchewan are not the type that can transmit Lyme disease. Less than half a percent of ticks found in the province are the black-legged or deer ticks, and only a small percentage of those may be infected.

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