Preventing Tick Bites
Because ticks hang out in all sorts of places outdoors including grass, bracken, under trees, among leaf litter as well as in sand dunes and pasture land, it’s important to check yourself if you’ve spent any time outdoors.
More about Ticks
Ticks, who are in the family of spiders & mites, can be potentially life changing. They are tiny – from the size of a pin head to a sesame seed – and they prefer to hang out in long grass, bracken, under trees, among leaf litter as well as in sand dunes and pastureland.
They’re commonly associated with deer, although ticks are usually carried in the earlier stages of development by ground feeding birds such as robins, thrushes & blackbirds as well as the common garden mouse. Even hedgehogs & squirrels can carry ticks and it’s often these smaller hosts that transmit a serious infection called Lyme disease onto the feeding tick.
Lyme Disease and Its Symptoms
Once a tick has fed, they go into hiding to enable them to moult and mature into the next life stage. Unfortunately once they are ready to feed again they will carry the Lyme disease bacteria in their gut meaning the next blood meal (be it you, a child, a pet, a bird or animal) could be infected with nasty bacteria.
The Lyme bacteria known as borrelia is spirochetal, meaning it can burrow its way through blood, tissue & get into joints & organs. Due to the way it spreads it can cause a variety of symptoms, hence affecting people in lots of different ways.
In early Lyme disease stages, a singular rash, known as a bulls-eye rash, ‘may’ appear at the site of the bite within days to weeks of the bite which can gradually enlarge into rings resembling a dartboard.
It’s important to note that not everyone gets this rash & it doesn’t always look ring shaped, sometimes it can be uniform in nature and sometimes multiple rashes can occur.
The rash ‘tends’ not be painful or itchy unless a secondary infection has settled in during the tick bite. However any rash following a tick bite should be taken seriously as early treatment can prevent a more serious disease developing.