South Jersey Caching & Safety: Ticks, Ticks, Ticks...I Hate Ticks!
|Ticks, Ticks, Ticks...I Hate Ticks!|
Here is some useful info on our little parasidic friends
Treatment and Control
The best method of avoiding ticks is to stay away from known tick infested areas. If visiting such an area, light coloured clothing should be worn, as ticks will be much easier to detect. Trousers should be tucked into socks and shirts into pants. An insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin should be applied, with a cream repellent applied to the skin and a spray repellent to footwear and clothing (note that DEET can damage some synthetic clothing). The repellent should be reapplied every few hours. All clothing should be removed on returning home and placed into a hot dryer for 20 minutes, which will kill any ticks that may still be on the clothing. Note that ticks can wander on the body for some two hours before attaching. This is how they become attached to the head (contrary to popular belief, they do not fall out of trees). The body should thereafter be searched well for ticks, especially behind the ears and on the back of the head. Children and pets should be examined for ticks after visiting bushland areas.
In locations where people live where they contact ticks in their backyard, then strategies can be undertaken to reduce the tick population and thereby minimise exposure. The Paralysis tick is very susceptible to dry conditions and so decreasing soil moisture can lessen their impact. This can be achieve through the reduction of foliage cover, which increases sunlight penetration to the ground, reducing the shrub layer, reducing mulching and watering, and ensuring that the lawn is kept mown low. Bandicoots, the main host of the Paralysis tick, can be kept out of the backyard through the use of animal exclusion fencing. This needs to go below the ground surface by 0.5m so that the animals cannot dig underneath. If ticks continue to be a problem, then insecticide control is an option. Currently the only registered insecticide for the control of the Paralysis tick in NSW is Brigade. Only a licensed pest controller can apply this chemical.
If a tick is detected that is attached, never attempt to place any chemical such as methylated spirits onto the tick, nor should it be touched or disturbed, as the tick will inject saliva into the skin, which could make the situation worse. Rather the tick should be sprayed with an aerosol insect repellent preferably containing pyrethrin or a pyrethroid (if a repellent cannot be found which contains a pyrethroid, then Lyclear, a scabies cream containing permethrin will work fine). The combination of hydrocarbons and the pyrethrin acts as a narcotic and a toxicant, and prevents the tick from injecting its saliva. The tick should be sprayed again one minute later (or dabbed with the Lyclear) and left. After 24 hours it should drop off naturally or be gently removed with fine-tipped forceps. It is normal for a tick bite to remain slightly itchy for several weeks, however if other symptoms develop, then a doctor should be consulted immediately.