Are you planning to go kayaking? Camping? Or maybe just taking a 10 minutes walk around the meadow or a forest? If you are close to Polish nature, be prepared to deal with ticks, especially if you travel in early spring.
What is a tick?
Ticks are insects (arachnids to be exact) that feed on people’s or animals’ blood. They are fast, silent and transmit bacterias and viruses which are dangerous to you and your pets. In Poland, the most feared decease transmitted by ticks is lyme disease (human) and babetiosis (pets).
What if I got beaten by a tick?
If you got beaten, you should remove it as soon as possible. We recommend using plastic handle (see a pic below), that you can buy in pharmacy, instead of widely recommended twizzers. While using twizzers you might apply to much strength and as a result crush the tick before it is out.
Disinfect bitten place with strong alcohol or other antibacterial liquid. Put the tick in the alcohol or flush down the toilet, so it won’t bite anybody else.
If you don’t know how to do it, you can contact local health care provider for help.
Remove a tick within 24 hours
It is worth to know that a quite large number of ticks are said to transmit lyme disease which is hard to cure. In Poland it might be even 25% of the population, but this data vary depending on the region of the country.
However if you manage to get rid of a tick within 24 hours from the bite, there is a huge chance it didn’t start to transmit the patogenes. The risk of getting sick is then low. You should contact your doctor and observe the bite in the following weeks to check if there is a rush. If you notice a big red spot, contact your doctor who should order blood tests and maybe also preventive antibiotics.
As you see, it is very important to control your body and check your pets’ fur after each, even short walk. Remember, if you get bitten, you will not feel it (unlike mosquito). So it is crucial to examin your body.
After a walk take off your clothes and ask somebody to help you inspect your body. Take a shower. Don’t leave the clothes you came in with on a bed or other place that you don’t really want a tick to roam around.
Also, you can use anti tick liquids, like Mugga, Off or any other. Another precaution – where light colored clothes with long legs and socks. Put the end of legs inside the socks. You will not look fashionable but at least there is one thing less to worry about on holidays. Ticks spend most of their day hanging on the long grass waiting for a dinner to come by. If they fell on your light colored clothes, you will easily spot them. And socks will prevent them from going under your clothes.
It is worth to know that ticks are looking for a nice, warm spot on your body to start dining. The most desirable places are armpits, groins, behind your ears, hollows of the knee etc.
How to protect your dog from ticks
Likewise. After each walk check your dog for ticks. To prevent ticks from biting, use collar or pills or drops that can be bought at vet. In our experience pills and drops are more effective than collars. Ticks hardly ever manage to bite the dog, because they die in the attempt.
However, we do realize there are some controversies around the subject, as some studies show that the substance used in some pills and drops can be more harmful to the dogs than ticks. So you should consult your vet before applying.
Season for ticks
Usually ticks’ season started somewhere near April and May. However, this year (2020) the winter was so mild, that ticks have appeared already in February. By March, there were so many of them, even 10 minutes walk in the forest “costed” us 10 ticks evenly distributed between us and our dog, Luna.