Preventing & Managing Tick Bites

Preventing & Managing Tick Bites

Tick Removal? What is the best way to get them out?

 The warmer months of Australia’s East Coast are a great time to spend time outdoors, enjoying the longer warmer days, but these warmer months also signal the beginning of tick season.

Ticks are parasites that feed on human and animal blood. There are many tick species in Australia though the most common species that attacks humans is the paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus. Ticks occur in humid, moist bushy areas. They are not very mobile but rely on passing animals (hosts) e.g. bandicoots and black rats to both feed on and transport them.

The result of tick bites can be minor local itching and swelling at the site of the tick bite. Extreme reactions can include rashes, meat allergy and anaphylaxis.

Tiara (Tick Induced Allergies Research & Awareness), recommends some helpful tips to Prevent and Manage Tick Bites.

Preventing Tick Bites

  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when walking or working in areas where ticks occur
  • Tuck pants into long socks and wear a wide brimmed hat
  • Undress and check for ticks daily, checking carefully on the neck and scalp
  • Wear light coloured clothing, which make it easier to see ticks

Managing Tick Bites

  • Kill the tick where it is using an ether-containing spray (available in Pharmacies)
  • Then wait for it to drop off
  • Take care not to squeeze the tick with tweezers or other tick removal gadgets, because this could cause the tick saliva to enter your body, increasing the risk of tick induced allergies.

Managing Ticks Around Your Home

  • Install animal proof fencing. This prevents the host animal coming into your yard where they can drop ticks
  • Ticks do not like dry conditions! Keep overhanging foliage and leaf litter to a minimum and mow lawns regularly.
  • Regularly treat pets to prevent ticks.

 

Helpful resources

How to remove a tick:

Information on ticks & the safe removal or ticks can be found at: