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Bugs that bite

Gardening, hiking, the sun and the warm, fresh air - it's good for your physical health and your mental wellbeing. But with the good comes a downside: the outdoors carry some risks for diseases carried by bugs that bite. Keep enjoying your favourite outdoor activities but take precautions.

Protect yourself and your family from tick and mosquito bites

  • Remove all standing water from your property (bird baths, eaves, wheelbarrows).
  • Use an approved personal repellent (never an insecticide on your body) and follow manufacturer instructions.
  • Cover up in loose, light-coloured clothing and long pants.
  • Do a full body check of yourself, children and pets, if you find a tick remove it immediately.

How to remove a tick

  • Quick removal of ticks from your skin will help prevent infection.
  • Using fine-tipped tweezers, carefully grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull it straight out, gently but firmly.
  • Don't squeeze it. Squeezing the tick can cause the Lyme disease bacteria to be accidentally introduced into your body.
  • Don't put anything on the tick, or try to burn the tick off.
  • After the tick has been removed, place it in a screw-top bottle or a sealed bag (like a pill vial or sandwich bag), and submit to your local health unit.
  • It is important to remember where you most likely acquired the tick. It will help public health workers to identify areas of higher risk.
  • Clean the bite with rubbing alcohol and/or soap and water.
  • Speak to your health care provider to help assess your risk of Lyme disease.


Both Lyme disease and WNv can cause flu-like symptoms that begin with headaches and achy muscles and joints, fatigue and fever. Lyme disease often comes with the warning of a bulls-eye rash at the site of the bite.

  A bulls eye tick bite. Photo by CDC/James Gathany



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