Lyme Disease Prevention for Nova Scotians

Information, References, Resources and links to other sites

By Rob Murray

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ​ Hike Nova Scotia.

Prevention is essential and an understanding of the biology of blacklegged Ixodes ticks will help. Ticks can be infectious at any stage but they are more likely to be encountered in the damp cool weather of very early spring or late fall. They can be active down to 4°C. Ticks do not like to be dried out and are unlikely to be found in the center of paths and trails. Birds can also disperse ticks so Canadians can be at increased risk in new areas where they have not been commonly found in the past. There are many pro-active steps that can be taken at the local level by individuals and municipalities.

No ticks are good ticks. Approximately 20% of the blacklegged ticks are vectors for serious diseases like Lyme, Bartonella, Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis while only 1% to 4% of the larger dog ticks carry the Powassan virus.  There is no known treatment for this virus and it can render the patient unconscious in as little as 15 minutes. Dressing appropriately with light coloured clothing with long sleeves and pants tucked into socks is key. Even rubber boots can help. Several people have picked up ticks while riding on sit-on mowers.

Tick warnings and trail signage are municipal responsibilities. Dog owners generally know where the hot spots are located.

Repellents:

Most things that people suggest as repellents don’t work on ticks. The best seems to be Natrapel lemon-eucalyptus available from MEC.ca and a few pharmacies. Products containing 30% Deet don’t seem to work as well or last as long. https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5038-081/Insect-Repellent—74ml-Pump?org_text=Natrapel  A student at the Mount Allison Tick Lab https://www.lloydticklab.ca has been testing repellents and this recommendation comes from unpublished results.

Permethrin:

Permethrin is an insecticide available worldwide for protection against tick bites except in Canada. The commercial product is sold at a 0.5% strength and lasts for up to 6 weeks or 6 washes on clothing and footwear. I have found 0.25% permethrin sprays available from all garden centres, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and the Home Depot and it should do the same thing. https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.709-ml-home-defense max.1000464192.html A light spray on the clothing and footwear is allowed to dry and should do the trick. It doesn’t work on our skin, as skin oils will neutralize it within 20 minutes. The wet spray can injure cats and it should not be used near fish or pollinators like bees.

Information on the efficacy of permethrin and prevention of Lyme in Nova Scotia: http://versicolor.ca/noticks/

Tick Tubes:

Tick tubes are another use for the permethrin spray. Dryer lint or cotton wool can be sprayed with the permethrin and packed into toilet paper tubes. These are placed around the property, under the building, in woodpiles etc. where the rodents will collect the treated lint for their nests and this will kill the ticks at their source. http://www.practicalprimitive.com/skillofthemonth/ticktubes

Dogs:  Dogs can get Lyme disease, but with treatment shake it off and build up resistance over time.  People don’t build up resistance and can be re-infected. Veterinarians should be consulted as vaccines and medicines are available.  Dogs should be on a leash and kept on the paths or trails in tick season.

Cats:  Outdoor cats should wear a collar. Check with your vet because now other medications are available. Cats are resistant to tick borne infections, feed on rodents and can deliver ticks to the owner and homes.  The collar recommended by many veterinarians is: http://www.seresto.com/en/seresto-for-cats/ by Bayer.

Other Measures:

Prompt, complete removal of ticks (if bitten) is very important. https://canlyme.com/lyme-prevention/tick-removal/ Not all ticks are infectious and generally it takes ticks time to attach and feed before they can infect a person. Tick checks and showering can help reduce the chance of infection.

Avoiding tall wet grass and undergrowth is a good idea. Cutting back the brush along pathways is a good measure to take as shrubs, shade and tall grass encourage ticks. Removing animal attractants like bird feeders will help.

To kill ticks drop them in alcohol.  If ticks are on clothing place the clothing in a dryer for 20-30 minutes before washing. –see instructions ‘CanLyme Prevention’.

References and Links to Articles on Prevention:

Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation: https://canlyme.com/lyme-prevention/

NS Lyme disease Prevention and Control: http://novascotia.ca/dhw/CDPC/lyme.asp  The Lyme risk map can be printed as a poster. In addition there are links to print pamphlets and an additional poster on the column to the right.

Protection against Lyme disease in Nova Scotia:
http://versicolor.ca/noticks/

Protecting outdoor workers from tick bites and Lyme disease:
http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/factsheets/landscapetips.pdf

Landscape Tricks to Reduce Ticks:
http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/factsheets/landscapetips.pdf

Government of Canada:
http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/disease-maladie/lyme/index-eng.php

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS): http://www.ccohs-.ca/oshanswers/diseases/lyme.html

Tick Management Handbook, Connecticut, pdf. http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/bulletins/b1010.pdf

Tick Encounter Resource Center, University of Rhode Island/ prevention http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention
and eliminate tick habitat: http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention/identify_and_eliminate_tick_habitat

Signs: Tick Habitat Warning Signs: Amazon.ca AND https://www.campgroundsigns.com/tick-warning-signs

You Tube Videos

CanLyme videos: https://canlyme.com/lyme-videos/

Tick Talk; children’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVQAxUclqgU

How to contact the author:

Rob Murray (DDS ret’d)
Lunenburg, NS
Tel.:  902-634-8542
Email:  murrayrgm01@gmail.com

Board member Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (www.CanLyme.com)

 

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Hiking Summit Features Cape Breton Trails

Hiking Summit in Ingonish a celebration of hiking culture in NS

About 250 people with an interest in hiking, walking and snowshoeing, will converge on Ingonish from May 11 to 13, 2018 for the seventh annual Nova Scotia Hiking Summit. Hosted by Hike NS along with Naturally Active Victoria County, Parks Canada and the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands, the Summit is a celebration of Nova Scotia’s hiking culture, and includes sharing best practices, stories and networking. Attendees include avid hikers, hiking clubs, trail groups, provincial government, municipalities and others.

Presenting sponsor is The Trail Shop and Platinum sponsor is Victoria County. Gold sponsors are Parks Canada and Destination Cape Breton. Silver sponsors are Cape Breton University – Sport and Physical Activity Leadership; the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage; Clif Bar, and Big Spruce Brewing. Bronze sponsor is the Ingonish Development Society.

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“Cape Breton is seen as a hiking Mecca and we’re incredibly excited to have so many people come out to talk about hiking and trails and then actually get out onto those beautiful trails,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “We were pleasantly surprised to have the Summit sell out in just one month and we’ve got a long waiting list.” The Summit is also a great to launch Destination Cape Breton’s new #HikeCapeBreton initiative.

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Date: Friday May 11, Saturday May 12 & Sunday, May 13, 2018
Location: Keltic Lodge at the Highlands, Ingonish
Time: 12 pm on May 11 to 5:30 pm on May 13

Fast Facts:

The Summit includes:

  • Keynote David Miller, author of AWOL on the Appalachian Trail and The A.T. Guide
  • MCs Chris Surette and Jan-Sebastian LaPierre from A for Adventure
  • A smudging and drumming ceremony to open the Summit
  • A new kids’ program
  • Hikes featuring the gorgeous scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands
  • Interesting sessions, skills workshops and Pecha Kucha presentations
  • Friday night reception and Saturday night supper with keynote speaker
  • Hike Nova Scotia’s Summit Awards
  • Silent auction and displays
  • Songs and stories around the campfire

The program and other details are found at www.hikenovascotia.ca/projects-hiking-summit.

Interviews:

Keynote David Miller is available for phone interviews leading up to the Summit as are representatives from our various co-hosts and partners. See the contact information below to arrange interviews.

Photos: 

Find photos on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HikeNovaScotia/ or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hikenovascotia or use some of the photos on this page.

Social Media:

Share on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HikeNovaScotia/
Share on Twitter https://twitter.com/HikeNS
Share on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hikenovascotia

Contact

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia
(902) 717-4408
Email info@hikenovascotia.ca

 

NS Hiking Summit

Hike Nova Scotia invites individuals and groups with an interest in hiking, walking and snowshoeing to the seventh annual Nova Scotia Hiking Summit from Friday, May 11 to Sunday, May 13 in Ingonish at the Keltic Lodge. The summit is a celebration of hiking culture and includes best practices, stories, networking opportunities, hikes and a new family / kids’ program. It is hosted by Hike NS, Naturally Active Victoria County, Parks Canada and the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands. Presenting sponsor is The Trail Shop, Platinum sponsor is Victoria County, Gold sponsors are Parks Canada and Destination Cape Breton, Silver sponsors are the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and Big Spruce Brewing and Bronze sponsor is the Ingonish Development Society. The guys from A for Adventure will be our MCs and the keynote speaker is David Miller, author of AWOL on the Appalachian Trail and The A.T. Guide.

There is limited space, so please register early to secure your spot. Registration is $45 for paid Hike NS members, $55 for non-members and $35 for children, youth and students. With the new family / kids’ program this year, families are invited to attend (some childcare provided). Registration includes: access to information sessions, hike events and socials along with Saturday and Sunday lunches. There are optional breakfasts and a Saturday supper at additional cost. Registration does not include accommodation or other meals – you must arrange them on your own. The deadline to register is May 6. Learn more and register online here.

Snowshoeing Grows with Hike Series

Now that winter is upon us, rather than hibernate indoors, Hike NS says to get out and try snowshoeing. You’ll be in good company, since everyone seems to be trying it. Hike Nova Scotia and its partners across the province are offering the 2018 Winter Guided Snowshoe Hike Series from January to March.

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“Snowshoeing is probably one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in our province,” says Janet Barlow, Hike NS Executive Director. “We’ve had the highest number of events registered across the province this season, even surpassing our fall hike series. Last year, people came out in droves.”

Event Details

Date: January 13 to March 17, 2018

Location: The full schedule with registration details and directions is found at www.hikenovascotia.ca. Hikes are led by local folks and participants qualify to win trail prizes. Hikes are free or low-cost and pre-registration is required​ unless otherwise indicated. Over 65 hikes are listed by date and region. Hikes include the following regions:

  • Cape Breton (Cape Breton Island)
  • Highland (Guysborough County, Antigonish County, Pictou County)
  • Fundy (Municipality of East Hants, Cumberland County, Colchester County)
  • Annapolis Valley (Municipalities of Hants West and Clare, Counties of Digby, Annapolis and Kings)
  • South Shore (Counties of Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, Lunenburg and District of Argyle)
  • Halifax (Halifax Regional Municipality)

Fast Facts

  • Hike NS and 38 host organizations partnered up to offer the guided snowshoeing series in January, February and March.
  • Over 65 snowshoe hikes are scheduled province-wide.
  • Hikes are led by local folks and participants qualify to win trail prizes. Hikes are free or low-cost and pre-registration is required​ unless otherwise indicated.
  • Hike NS thanks its local partners for organizing the hikes on the ground as well as Goose Lane Editions and the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for their support.
  • Wondering where to find snowshoes? Not to worry, since you can easily find snowshoes to borrow, rent or buy using Hike NS’s online guide, with 75 listings. A growing number of municipalities, businesses and organizations are buying sets of snowshoes to lend or rent. There are at least 55 venues listed where you can borrow them for free.
  • Hike NS encourages and promotes a growing hiking culture throughout the province, striving to be the voice for those who hike, walk and snowshoe.

Photos

Find photos on Facebook  or Instagram or use some of the photos on this page.

Social Media

Share on Facebook  

Share on Twitter

Share on Instagram

Contact

Janet Barlow, Hike Nova Scotia

(902) 932-6902

Email

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Snowshoeing Nova Scotia: Part One

by Brad Donaldson

This winter we’ll be highlighting some of the province’s best trails for snowshoeing. In part one, we begin in central Nova Scotia, listing some of our favourites in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).

1. Shubie Park: Nestled between Lake Micmac and Lake Charles, Shubie Park offers city dwellers a chance to get outside without having to travel far. Commonly known for kayaking and canoeing, the park is also a place for walking, camping, and snowshoeing. Within the 40-acre urban park are three main trails that loop around lakes, over canals, and under towering trees making for a full day of adventure.

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2. Oakfield Provincial Park: One of the many provincial parks found in the HRM, Oakfield is on the shores of Grand Lake, just off Highway 2 (near Fall River). As a day-use park, the area is filled with intertwining trails that funnel down to the lake through a beautiful hardwood forest.

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3. Salt Marsh Trail: Moving through the wetlands of Eastern Passage, Cole Harbour, and Lawrencetown is the Salt Marsh Trail. The 6.5 kilometre trail (one way) is long, flat, and gravelled, making it perfect for snowshoeing. Part of the Trans Canada Trail, and formed from the old Musquodoboit Railway, the trail is popular place for wildlife sightingso keep your eyes peeled!

4. Point Pleasant Park: Found at the southern tip of the Halifax Peninsula, Point Pleasant is a perfect escape for those who might find themselves gridlocked during the cold winter months. Throughout the wooded area are endless, winding routes that wrap around the Atlantic shoreline, offering different levels of elevation and distance. Created in 1866, the park boasts a number of historical monuments commemorating military and navy efforts to see while braving the cold.

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5. Uniacke Estate Museum Park: Once a summer oasis for the family of Richard John Uniacke (a 19th-century Attorney-General), the area has recently been converted for public use. Within the grounds are eight trails that explore the heritage site, travelling  over rivers and along lakes. The trails vary in length and difficulty, and are available for use year round (although the museum and toilet facilities operate on a seasonal bases).

*Note: While snowshoeing, please be respectful and mindful of other trail users. You may notice trails that are not multi-purposed, and specifically groomed for cross country skiing. In this instance, we ask you to not damage the hard work that goes into grooming and enjoy responsibly.

Share the Hiking Love on Giving Tuesday: Nov. 28

Why do you love hiking? Is it the fresh air, the calm feeling of green or the heart-pumping rush of reaching a summit for a great view? Share the Hiking Love: On @GivingTuesdayCa (@NSGives) – November 28 – share a photo of you on an NS trail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and then donate to Hike NS! Don’t forget to tag Hike NS when you post: #HikeNS @HikeNS @hikenovascotia. Check out our donation page

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Hiking for the Holidays Online Auction

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Support the Hike NS Hiking for the Holidays Online Auction. Shop once and give twice: once to your loved ones and once to Hike NS. Do your holiday shopping online with us and spend more time hiking, less time shopping. From big gifts to stocking stuffers, we’ve got presents that hikers will love. Special thanks to The Trail Shop for donating most of the items in the auction. Bidding opens Nov. 18 and ends on Dec. 3. View items here

Franey in the Fall

by Brad Donaldson

 

I thought it might be too late, that when I finally got up to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park to see the leaves in all their seasonal glory there’d be none left. But luckily I was terribly, terribly wrong Continue reading “Franey in the Fall”

The McLachlan Bothy: A Community Build

By Brad Donaldson

As some readers may know, last year I followed the revealing of the Doris and Jack McLachlan Bothy.

The bothy stands on Six Mile Brook Trail—a trail that is part of the Cape to Cape trail system—and was constructed by community volunteers and a number of high school students in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board Continue reading “The McLachlan Bothy: A Community Build”

Fall Hikes, Events & Courses

Fall is a busy time and this season Hike NS has over 60 hikes, events and courses available. Check them out!

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Hike NS Fall Guided Hike Series 2017

Hike Nova Scotia and 28 host organizations across the province have partnered up to offer the 2017 Fall Guided Hike Series from September to November. There are 50 hikes led by local folks and participants qualify to win “trail prizes.” Hikes are free and Continue reading “Fall Hikes, Events & Courses”