Southeastern Manitoba is the focus of a Tick and Lyme disease study this winter.

Natasha Bowser, from the University of Montreal, says this corner of the province was selected due to the high number of ticks as well as occurrences of Lyme disease in people living here.

She says they have also selected a few other locations in Canada for the same reasons.

An adult female deer tick, also known as a blacklegged tick. (Photo credit: Catherine Bouchard, Public Health Agency of Canada CB2)

The study will focus on human behaviour related to ticks.

Bowser wants to hear from as many adults as possible to find out whether we make any changes to our daily living habits as a result of know we live in an area with a high tick population, do ticks cause anxiety?

She also wants to hear from people who are not bothered by the ticks.

Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks, and the nymphs are small which makes them difficult to spot.

“A large percentage of people, like maybe 40 per cent or more of people who are infected don’t recall being bitten by a tick because sometimes they’re so hard to find,” says Bowser.

She believes the growing tick population should be concern enough to get people thinking about the problem, even though ticks are the last thing on our mind at this time of year.

The focus groups will wrap up at the end of this month.

For more information or to participate in the study, contact Bowser at natasha.nofal@umontreal.ca .