If you or your pet has been bitten by a tick, bring it to Hoodoo Adventures.
The Penticton outdoor adventure guide has agreed to help a research group learn more about these unwanted blood suckers that can carry debilitating diseases like Lyme disease.
“We have collected over 50 ticks so far,” said Hoodoo co-owner Lyndie Hill, explaining they have been collecting ticks from the public since mid-April- at the start of tick season.
“We do a tick check everyday with our after school kids. Because we are doing adventures in the mountains and areas like Carmi Hill we are finding them on kids, on their heads and legs.”
The staff are well trained on how to properly remove them.
She said the ticks are common in places like Campbell Mountain, Skaha Bluffs and up Carmi Hill. They start to show up when the weather warms up and can be found in the long grass or on branches.
“We have a safe container here at Hoodoo HQ on Ellis Street,” she said. “We will safely store ticks to be collected and analyzed for disease and other valuable information.”
The research group has come to pick up the ticks three times already, she said. They are studying and testing them for disease. Hoodoo Adventures will continue to collect ticks for however long tick season goes to this year, she added.
This appears to be a particularly bad season for ticks, which are spreading and growing in numbers in B.C., according to B.C. Public Health.
There are two different kinds of ticks in the Okanagan – the wood and deer tick. The wood tick is the size of a pea and is not known to be a carrier of Lyme disease, says Interior Health.
The deer tick is the size of a sesame seed and has been linked to a handful of cases of Lyme disease locally, added Interior Health.
Dogs are more likely to bring home ticks than humans, often in their ears and on their heads.
“It is important to remove ticks found on people and pets. To do so, wear gloves and use needle nose tweezers to gently grasp the tick close to the skin. Pull the tick straight out without squeezing it. After it is removed, clean the area with soap and water,” said an Interior Health information sheet put out last April.
Although most tick bites are harmless, it is important to watch for signs of illness and see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice a bull’s eye rash or other symptoms like achy muscles, fever and fatigue.
IF YOU FIND A TICK – bring it to Hoodoo Adventures:
- Put it into a zip-lock bag or old pill bottle with a blade of grass or tiny piece of damp paper towel.
- Write down the 5 following pieces of information:
- The date you found the tick
- Where you found it, e.g. crawling up pants, embedded in scalp, etc,
- Where you think you picked it up, e.g. hiking up Carmi, climbing at Skaha
- The animal it was removed from, e.g. dog, horse, human; and
- Name and phone number of person depositing the tick.