The threat of Lyme Disease is on the rise in Canada as ticks (specifically Black-Legged Ticks) are becoming far more prevalent than in prior years. Canada seems to be behind the rest of the world in both recognizing the danger and coming up with preventable measures. One particular area seems to be with Permethrin, a synthetic insecticide used mainly against disease-carrying insects.
While the harmful effects of Permethrin haven't been fully tested on humans, it has shown to be particularly effective at preventing tick bites. In one study, there was a 93% reduction in the total incidence of tick bites. While Permethrin is allowed in the United States, we don't have access to it here in Canada. There isn't anything preventing you from crossing the border and purchasing Permethrin-Treated clothing and bringing it back into Canada, it's just not sold here until it is approved by our federal Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency.
There is a new petition in hopes to get the ball rolling on this matter and you can sign it and have your say as well. You can also read more about ticks, prevention and the state of Lyme Disease over at an informative Canadian site called Versicolor. Lyme is now being diagnosed in southern B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
In the mean time, consider wearing full length pants and tucking them into your socks while out on portages and while camping and don't forget a pair of tweezers to remove them if they bite you.