Tick season is well underway.

The pests can be found anywhere in the province and Albertans can protect themselves by wearing long sleeved shirts and pants along with bug spray when in wooded and grassy areas.

Dr. Kristin Klein, Deputy Medical Officer of Health at Alberta Health, says caution should be used when removing ticks.

"It's really important to use tweezers and get all the bits of the tick out of the bite, so making sure to grasp the head and the mouth parts of the tick and pull it out straight without twisting it, but typically ticks would be found prior to biting on the surface of your skin and then you can just remove it."

Klein says when people find ticks they can be submitted to their tick surveillance program.

"If a tick is found in the environment or on an individual they can be submitted to an Alberta Health Services environmental public health office or a First Nations health centre," she explains. "If the tick has actually bitten an individual and they're worried about the risk of Lyme disease it's probably best to seek the attention of a physician."

Over the past five years the number of tick submissions has tripled but the proportion of ticks that carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease has stayed the same.

More information on ticks, Lyme disease, and Alberta Health's tick surveillance program can be found here.

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