An exponential increase in the number of both wood ticks and blacklegged ticks in Thunder Bay this year has one expert pointing to a changing environment as the culprit.

“I look at this as being one of our best indicators of climate change,” said Ken Deacon, an entomologist and bio-consultant for the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

Carried to the region by migratory birds, ticks have always been present in Thunder Bay, explained Deacon. But the ticks were unable to establish themselves until the early 2000s, when early winter temperatures were not dipping down far enough to kill over-wintering ticks before the snow fell.

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