Paralysis ticks are likely to make their presence felt in Spring and Summer especially. Make no mistake, this tick is not to be easily dismissed. It is a danger to any host it attaches itself to.
Although paralysis ticks can be found all year round, the peak season is Spring and Summer, when warm weather combines with periods of rain.
At these times, whenever you do outdoor activities — gardening, bush-walking, camping, etc — it’s wise to make sure tick checks and tick bite prevention are part of your routine.
Paralysis ticks are generally prevalent in moist, humid environments, such as grassy and wooded areas. They are especially common in wet forests and temperature rainforests and can often be found among leafy debris, uncontrolled vegetation, as well as among trees and logs.
Allergic reactions are the most serious medical condition associated with ticks. This is also true for reactions that people have to many other insect bites.
These reactions can range from mild itching with localised swelling and pain, to severe and life-threatening anaphylaxis. Even without the tick being on a person for an extended lenth of time, a severe allergic reaction can still occur.
Other than avoiding these areas, here are a few methods to stay out of harm’s way:
Australia Wide First Aid has training locations around Australia, including:
After being outdoors, even in your own back yard or a familiar environment, it’s wise to check your body for ticks.
The most common areas of your body that ticks tend to infest include:
Clothing can also be a carrier of ticks. Placing your clothing in a clothes dryer on high heat will effectively kill ticks.
Paralysis ticks normally feed on the blood of native Australian animals. But they also cause problems when they choose livestock, domestic pets and humans as their hosts.
With an estimated 20,000 domestic animals paralysed every year in Australia, tick prevention has become a major focus for vets and pet owners alike.
To check for ticks on your pet, run your fingers over their entire body and investigate any unusual lumps.
They can attach themselves anywhere on the skin. The most common sites of attachment are around the head and neck, and under the legs or collar.
Vital warning signs for impending tick paralysis in pets include:
Prompt and complete removal of the tick is the key treatment for tick bite.
One immediate method of tick removal is to use fine-tipped or pointed tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. With steady pressure, gently pull the tick straight out.
Better still, if you have the opportunity to get to a pharmacy, buy an ether-based product, such as Wart-Off Freeze or Verruca & Wart Remover. Although these are products were designed to freeze off warts, they will also freeze paralysis ticks, causing them to die and fall out with no further intervention.
After the tick is removed, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
If you have difficulty removing all parts of the tick, Australia Wide First Aid recommends you seek immediate medical attention. Allergic reactions to tick bites (any insect bites for that matter) can be very serious.
It is normal for the tick bite to remain itchy for a few weeks after the initial tick bite. However, if any other symptoms persist, please seek immediate medical attention.
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