Be Tick Aware

July 31, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Be Tick Aware

The purpose of this brief article is to raise awareness of ticks.

I’ve always been around horses, let my dog sleep in my bed, spent a lot of time in the countryside, taken camping holidays, spend time fishing by the lake, work outside a lot and have never picked up a tick and not really thought about it either.   

Sunday last week, I had been doing some weeding on my driveway in an area where hedgehogs pass through. A little while later I looked down to find a tiny arachnid feasting on my ankle.  I panicked.  The same panic as when a spider crawls on you or an insect lands on you, yet you can’t brush it off or move away from it as it is buried in your skin.  There was some screaming/ shrieking (I have apologised to the neighbours).  All I could think about was getting it out but from owning dogs/ horses I am aware that you should be very careful with ticks.

We popped down to the local hospital/ walk-in and they were able to remove it (after a few tugs) with a tick remover.  I felt immediately relieved when it was out.  A small part was left in so the nurse was able to dig around with a needle and get the last piece out.

I was lucky that I spotted it - they are very small, you are unlikely to feel them attach or as they feed as their saliva helps them to remain totally painless, itches and unobtrusive to their host.  I didn’t feel a thing.  Remember to check yourself and your children for these pests.     

Here’s some tick facts -

  • Ticks are part of the arachnid family and related to spiders, mites and scorpions.
  • They are found all over the UK both in the countryside and towns, including London.   
  • Ticks don't jump or fly – they attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.
  • Most tick bites are harmless but some transmit Lyme disease which can be serious.
  • If you develop a bulls-eye rash at the bite site it is very important to seek medical advice   

There's a lot of wrong advice on social media, especially in relation to how to remove ticks.  Here are some useful links about ticks and very importantly how to remove them safely -

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Lyme-disease/

https://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/about-ticks/

 

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