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A Toronto woman’s horror story will make you think twice about your spring walks

Although we are coming to the end of tick season in Ontario, residents are still having nerve-wracking encounters with the potentially dangerous insects and trying to warn others to be careful when engaging in outdoor activities.

Hikers are normally the ones to worry about ticks and the Lyme disease they may be carrying, with reports both on the rise last year and this year.

But a woman and her dog found themselves completely covered in bugs after a recent walk – not in a remote part of the province, but in downtown Toronto.

“I just want people to see how really bad ticks are this year! It’s awful!” Michelle Sn posted to a South Etobicoke community Facebook group on Tuesday.

“I removed the fifth tick from me and at least 20 of my dogs in a few days. It’s just because we’re in our yard! The dogs are in prevention and I’m doing everything I can to prevent them myself -even, but the effort is proving futile.”

The resident added that she “felt like she was living a nightmare” as ticks invaded her neighborhood, her property and even entered her home.

“I now have to check myself and my dogs multiple times a day. I have to check my bed every night and the couches, the dog beds…it’s absolutely awful,” she told blogTO.

“I think people need to know how bad they really are. I’ve had five who clung to me and a few more who I caught crawling on top of me before they got away with it. had the chance to hold on.”

As mentioned, Michelle has her dogs on tick preventative treatment and has always had to deal with the parasites, even after walks not in nature, but just in town.

“Honestly, I feel like they’re constantly crawling on me,” she says.

As the City of Toronto notes on its website, tick populations are indeed increasing in Canada, and while the risk in Toronto is considered low, residents may want to take protective precautions like wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors, especially in wooded areas, busy areas with tall grass and lots of plant matter on the ground.

The city has an online map showing where blacklegged ticks are most prevalent in the city, although the data is from 2013 to 2019 as studies were suspended due to the pandemic.

Residents can submit photos of suspicious ticks to the tick identification platform eTick to determine if they are at risk for Lyme disease due to the type.

Keep an eye on yourself during and after walks, and if you discover a tick on yourself or a pet, carefully but firmly remove it as soon as possible with fine tweezers, store it in a jar and take it to a public health unit in Toronto. for identification.

Peak season for adult ticks is March to mid-May, then mid-August to November.