Ticks and Lyme Disease are becoming more of a concern in Ontario and I have recently received a few inquiries about ticks on the golf course. Please read on to learn some useful information to help you limit your risk.
Here are two images of Ontario that show the expansion of Lyme disease concerns in the last 4 years. These maps were created by using reports of any blacklegged ticks found within a 20-kilometer radius. As you can see, Credit Valley is in the highlighted area.
One of the things I love most about working at Credit Valley is the wide variety of wildlife that I get to see in the middle of the city. Unfortunately, this also means that there is the potential for ticks to be present as they live on animal hosts such as deer, squirrels, raccoons, and chipmunks. Staying on the maintained areas of the golf course will help limit your exposure as ticks are generally located in tall grass or wooded areas. While the safest option would be to avoid areas where ticks can be found, if your golf game is anything like mine, you might sometimes find yourself retrieving a ball from a less than desirable location. If you choose to enter these areas, there are several preventative measures that can be used to help reduce the likelihood of a bite.
- Before you enter, you can help prevent bites by wearing:
- Shoes that are closed toed
- Long pants tucked into your socks
- Long sleeved shirts tucked into your pants
- Light coloured clothing which makes it easier to spot ticks
- Insect repellant with DEET
- Please only apply on paths. DEET kills grass.
- After spending any time in long grass or wooded areas, you should:
- Thoroughly check yourself for ticks
- Have someone check your back and other hard to see places
- When you arrive home if you have been in an at-risk area:
- Put your clothes in a dryer on high heat prior to washing them to kill any insects
If you have been bitten, there are a few important factors to note when removing the tick.
- Use tweezers to grab the tick, do not use your fingers
- Pull the tick out gently, being sure not to crush it
- Keep the tick for testing through a public health unit to help monitor where ticks live
- Clean the bite area with soap and water or alcohol
For further information please visit http://www.ontario.ca/page/lyme-disease
If you have any questions about this topic or anything else on the golf course, please contact me by email at email@example.com