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revised Tuesday January 21 2020

Lyme Disease | West Nile Virus | Eastern Equine Encephalitis




Protecting yourself

Avoid tick bites

If you travel to an area where infected ticks are commonly found, try to avoid areas where ticks live, such as areas that are wooded, have leaf litter and long grass.

If you can’t avoid exposure to tick habitats you can reduce the risk of infection by:

  • Checking regularly for ticks and removing any attached ticks immediately
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts that fit tightly around the wrist and long-legged pants tucked into socks or shoes or boots. Light-coloured clothing makes it easier to see if ticks land on your clothing.
  • Applying insect repellent containing DEET to skin and clothing.
  • Showering or bathing within two hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks.

Tick bites: what to do if you’re bitten

The longer an infected tick is attached to your skin, the more likely you’ll become infected with Lyme disease.

Infected ticks don’t usually spread the bacterium during the first 24 hours. Since tick bites don’t hurt, you might not even know you’ve been bitten.

If you get bitten by a tick:

  • Remove the tick immediately with tweezers. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull the tick straight out until the tick releases its hold on your skin.
  • Use soap and water to clean the spot where you were bitten. You can also disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol or use antibiotic ointment.
  • Wash your hands.
  • It isn’t unusual to have more than one tick attached, so check your whole body.
  • Contact your doctor or Peel Public Health (if you reside in the Region of Peel) to see if you should have the tick tested.
  • See your family doctor if you develop any symptoms of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease vaccine

While there is no vaccine for Lyme disease for people, there is a Lyme disease vaccine for dogs. A veterinarian can advise you about vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease.

Lyme disease and Pets

Pets can come in contact with ticks during walks in grassy or wooded areas. The best way to protect your pet is to avoid areas known to have an active tick population and to keep your dog on a leash in heavily wooded or natural areas.

Talk to your veterinarian for more tips to prevent ticks on your pets.

Actions Peel Region is taking against Lyme disease

The Region of Peel is monitoring the tick population in Peel annually as part of our Vector Borne Disease Prevention Plan.

How to submit a tick

Ticks found on humans can be submitted for identification and testing (please do not submit ticks found on pets):

  1. Remove the tick immediately with tweezers. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull the tick straight out until the tick releases its hold on your skin.
  2. Don’t squeeze the tick. Be careful not to twist, crush, or turn the tick while removing it because this might separate the head from the body which will make laboratory identification difficult.
  3. Put the live tick in a small container with a tight fitting lid. Place a cotton ball dampened with water in the container to keep the tick alive.
  4. Complete the Tick Submission Form and bring it along with the container to one of the following locations:
Location Hours of Operation
Service Peel
7120 Hurontario St.,
Mon - Fri
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Town of Caledon
Administration Building
6311 Old Church Rd.,
Caledon East
Mon - Fri
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Service Peel
10 Peel Centre Dr.,

Mon - Fri
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tick specimens will be shipped to and identified by the provincial Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL). The CPHL will send the identified ticks to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory for Lyme disease testing.

Only the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, will be tested for Lyme disease.

Types of tick monitoring

There are 2 types of tick monitoring: active and passive. Active monitoring means collecting ticks in their natural habitat, while passive monitoring means studying ticks brought to Peel Public Health offices by Peel residents.

Peel Public Health is doing passive tick monitoring in Peel. If passive monitoring shows an increase of ticks in a certain area, then we will start active monitoring.


Update of Lyme Disease Activity in Peel (2019)

  Total Brampton Caledon Mississauga
Human Cases Acquired in Peel 1 0 1 0
Travel Related Human Cases* 13 8 0 5
Lyme Disease - Positive Ticks
Found in Peel
4 0 2 2

* Acquired Lyme disease while travelling outside Peel

For Lyme disease data from previous years please refer to the annual vector-borne disease report.

Last updated: January 17, 2020

External Resources

Government of Canada
Public Health Ontario
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

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Revised: Tuesday January 21 2020


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