As promised we have brought to you the latest information provided by our very own Paul Manktelows’ Times column. Featured last Saturday here are his top tips on how to understand, manage, and prevent these hugely unwanted parasites.
From March through to October we see a larger prevalence of ticks throughout the UK. This is generally down to the warmer weather and they can be found more commonly in heathland and woodland areas, though they do not entirely exclude suburban areas.
Ticks attach themselves to the skin of animals and people, taking a good long drink before finally dropping off. This bite can cause local irritation to the skin but in extreme cases cause severe and debilitating illnesses such as Lymes disease and Borreliosis. It is important to say that not all ticks transmit these diseases but vigilance should be key to help prevent them from occuring.
Get in the habit of checking your dog and cats coats regularly for ticks which can appear as small bumps to start with which grow in size the longer they remain attached, they will not brush off or come away easily!
Ask your Vet about tick prevention treatments, many flea spot on products are also tick repellent medications too.
Wear long sleeved clothing and trousers tucked into socks when walking in long grass or wooded areas.
Attached ticks should be removed as soon as possible. This should be done using a tick hook which can be provided by most petshops and Veterinary clinics.
Never use vaseline or similar creams to “smother” the ticks. This causes the tick to regurgitate any infectious products back into the victim and will only cause the tick to drop off as opposed to killing it. This then results in the potential for it to reattach to something else.
Pauls Points: “If you have found a tick on yourself recently and are suffering from subsequent muscle aches, fatigue, headaches and/or fever get checked by your GP. These are classic early signs of Lymes disease”.