Watch out for tick bites: the population explodes from April

At this time of the year, you should pay attention in nature: there can be nests with ticks everywhere. They are actively looking for a host. Ticks need to suck blood from a human or animal to grow from larva to adult tick. And that host … you don’t want to be him.

During the ‘Week of the Tick’ attention is paid to the consequences of a tick bite. Forester Erik de Jonge emphasizes the importance of paying attention to ticks. From April the population explodes and they become very active.

How many ticks are in a location often has to do with the presence of mammals and birds. Those are the main carriers. “The more hosts there are, the more ticks can reproduce. So that reinforces each other. In a bird-rich area they have an excellent chance to reproduce.”

The moisture of the vegetation also plays a major role. “There are many ticks in grasslands. But in sparse heather or a dry coniferous forest the chance of finding one is much smaller.” So not every nature reserve has the same number of ticks. “There are places where you only put a foot out of the car and where the ticks immediately crawl up. Through The drawing radar people can see how active ticks are in certain areas.

The same site has also investigated which part of the body ticks bite the most. In children this appears to be mainly on the neck and on the head, in adults mainly on the legs. This has been shown on the basis of two thousand reports of tick bites from 2019 and 2020.

Always check
De Jonge advises forest visitors to stay on the roads and paths during this time while exercising or hiking. “If you don’t, you are immediately ten times more likely to get a tick. Also, don’t wear shorts or sleeveless outerwear.” The bugs are mainly in tall grass. Or on branches of shrubs. “They come from plants on your pants and then crawl up your body. Eight out of ten ticks come off the ground. They don’t jump on you or fall from a tree. Ticks crawl up and that goes very quickly. Do a very good one. check after running, walking or recreation. ”

Many forest rangers wear special anti-tick clothing. “It has a coating that impregnates the fibers of the clothing. They don’t like that.” De Jonge has no problems with uniforms. “You can also buy bottles with anti-ticks. You spray that on your regular clothes, especially at the bottom of your trouser leg, socks, and on the end of the sleeves. That works well too.”

‘Picking a sign for an hour’
A tick bite can also be disastrous for animals. That is why dog ​​Jack gets an anti-tick pill from the forest ranger every year. “To avoid giving more tablets than necessary, I always wait as long as possible before giving them. I had not seen a lot of ticks this year. Until Jack suddenly had about sixty ticks rich last week. I have anyway. sit fiddling with the tick remover for an hour. And just pick. ”

During the ‘Week of the Tick’ attention is paid to Lyme disease and the dangers of ticks. For those who get the jitters after reading this message: on the website of the organization you will find everything about the bugs and even more tips to avoid getting bitten.
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