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Indian Pest Control Association
 

Tick

tickTicks are a problem as carriers of diseases throughout the world. They do not belong the insect species but are arachnids. In our latitudes there are about two dozen species, of which eight are of medical importance. Primarily the common castor-bean tick (Ixodes ricinus) is responsible for transmitting diseases to humans.

During their development ticks usually have to consume blood several times. To find a donor they settle on grass, fern or the underside of other leaves and bushes, and often wait for several months. If they detect a host, they drop on to it and find a suitable place to suck blood. On humans they prefer moist and warm areas such as the armpits or genital area. Their barbed proboscis unfolds after biting like an umbrella, to anchor the tick to the skin. If undisturbed feeding can continue for up to nine days. When full of blood the tick is several times larger.

The bite itself is usually unnoticeable, since pain-killing secretions are released. Often the site of the bite is only slightly red. Germs can be transmitted by the tick's saliva, and frequently also by its excrement.

Ticks are carriers of tick borne encephalitis (a virus disease), which only occurs endemically in certain areas, and of the about 100 times more widespread borreliosis (a bacterial disease) in all regions with temperate climate.

Preventive measures and control

  • Covering clothing will protect from tick bites
  • Apply suitable repellents to uncovered areas of the body (lotion, cream, spray, pump spray)
  • The danger is less on pathways than when you go through undergrowth
  • After you have been in open countryside, examine your body for ticks
  • If seen in corners of beds, matresses etc, air matresses & beds.
  • Beds, matresses can also be sprayed with a insecticide to kill the ticks

To remove a tick proceed as follows:

  • grip the tick just above your skin
  • do not twist or squash it
  • do not put oil or alcohol on the tick
  • pull it out straight upwards