LONDON, ONT. -- If you're planning on going for a hike this weekend, the health unit reminds you to watch out for ticks.

Ticks can be found in long, grassy areas.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit's website suggests dog ticks and blacklegged ticks are the most common ticks found in our region, although dog ticks are more commonly found.

While there has been an uptick in cases of Lyme disease from 144 cases in 2009 to more than 2,600 in 2019, the MLHU says the disease can only be transmitted through blacklegged ticks.

Scientists say climate change has caused tick populations to increase and spread in to urban areas throughout Canada.

You can protect yourself by wearing insect repellant that contains DEET.

If you find a tick on your body, according to the MLHU website, "you can use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the head as possible. Pull the tick upwards and away from the body. Clean the area with soap and water. Wash your hands."

If you collect a tick, you can submit it for identification here.