Saskatchewan residents should remain vigilant for ticks on themselves and their pets this fall.

Typically, blacklegged ticks (lxodes scapularis) are rare in Saskatchewan; however, they are spreading to new areas in Canada. Established populations of the blacklegged tick have been detected near Saskatchewan in southern Manitoba. Saskatchewan contains a large amount of habitat with suitable environmental conditions to support reproduction and eventual establishment of blacklegged tick populations.

Blacklegged ticks are typically found in tall grasses, brush or wooded areas and remain active into autumn’s cooler conditions.

Any ticks found in Saskatchewan in the fall are likely to be blacklegged ticks, which can cause Lyme disease.

“Even though summer is over, take steps to protect yourself, your family and pets against ticks,” Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Julie Kryzanowski said. “Due to a warmer fall season, ticks can now establish thriving populations in areas that are normally too cold for them. Through fall, it is important to stay vigilant so ticks don’t make you sick. Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections.”

Precautionary measures include:

* Wear light-coloured clothes so ticks can be seen easily.

* Wear pants, long-sleeved shirts and shoes that do not expose your feet.

* Pull socks over your pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.

* Use insect repellents that contains DEET or Icaridin. Apply repellent to clothes as well as your skin, and always read and follow the directions.

* In Canada, clothing that has been treated with the insecticide permethrin has been approved for use by people over the age of 16.

* Shower or bathe as soon as possible after being outside to wash off loose ticks and inspect for attached ticks.

* Check for ticks after being outside. Be sure to check yourself, your children and your pets.

If you find a tick attached to your skin or on your pet:

* Carefully remove it with fine-tipped tweezers, grasping the mouth parts of the tick as close to the skin as possible.

* Pull slowly upward and out with a firm and steady pressure.

* Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body after removal as it may contain infectious fluids.

* Do not put Vaseline, gasoline or other noxious substances on an attached tick. These may cause it to regurgitate.

* Submit photos of your tick to eTick (, Saskatchewan’s image-based tick identification system.

* Hang onto your tick in case it needs to be submitted for further testing. Ticks can be euthanized by placing it in a bag and storing it in the freezer for 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health works with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan to monitor tick populations and the risk of Lyme disease in the province, through eTick and active field surveys. Blacklegged ticks collected through field surveys provide the most definitive indicator of established populations. No blacklegged ticks were detected in Saskatchewan through active surveys prior to June 2023. However, in June, a single male blacklegged tick was found during an active survey. Follow-up surveys will be conducted to determine whether this indicates there is a reproducing blacklegged tick population.

Through eTick, four blacklegged ticks were detected in spring and early summer this year. Most ticks found in Saskatchewan are American dog ticks (Dermacentor sp.). However, this species is only active from mid-April to the end of July. American dog ticks are not capable of transmitting Lyme disease to people.

For more information on ticks and Lyme disease, including how to submit a tick for Lyme disease testing, visit or