Facts and Information about Ticks in Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, December 6, 2022 by Greeny’s Pest Control
Canadians don't have the luxury of year round warmth which means we try to make the most out of the outdoors when we're given the chance. Unfortunately for us, Ticks have become a growing concern across the country causing many to worry when planning a Summer outing. According to the Government of Canada, cases of Lyme Disease have steadily increased across the country over the last decade (See chart below).
Ontario is home to several different species of tick including the deer tick (Often referred to as the black legged tick), the brown dog tick and the American dog tick. As we'll see below, there are some distinct differences between species.
The Black Legged Tick (Deer Tick)
Deer ticks take 2 years to complete their life cycle starting from eggs to larvae in the first year and Nymph and Adult in year two. Unsurprisingly, these Ticks get their name because they are so commonly found attached to Deer. This also explains why they have spread so quickly throughout the province. This species is found predominately throughout forested areas, as well as tall grasslands and shrubs which boarder forests.
The Brown Dog Tick
The Brown Dog tick gets its name from its overall reddish brown colour, and of course because they are commonly found on dogs. This species is often encountered indoors as well in kennels so keep an eye on your pets if they've recently visited one. This species of tick is not known for biting humans however it does happen on occasion. According to Pest World, Brown Dog Ticks can grow up to 1/2 Inch in size when engorged. These type of ticks tend to like warmer weather and are more commonly found in southern most parts of the country.
American Dog Tick
The American Dog Tick (Commonly called the Wood Tick), also has a reputation for feeding on domestic dogs. This species can be found exclusively in North America and has been known to spread a disease called the rocky mountain spotted fever. This species of Tick is a member of the hard tick family which means is possesses a hard exterior shield which helps to protect itself. An interesting fact about the American Dog Tick is that when they are in their larval stage and develop two additional legs as nymphs and adults.
Canada, P. H. A. of. (2022, November 15). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/lyme-disease/surveillance-lyme-disease.html#a4
Brown dog ticks: Removal, treatment, prevention of dog ticks. PestWorld.org Your Partner in Pest Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/ticks/brown-dog-ticks/