Council urges residents to be tick aware this summer
THE recent mix of warm and wet weather has created the perfect conditions for blood-sucking ticks to thrive, the public is being warned.
With the summer holidays in full swing and people spending more time outside, Hampshire County Council has offered advice on how to avoid ticks and remove them if bitten.
It suggests keeping to footpaths and avoiding long grass when out walking, as well as wearing insect repellent and a long-sleeved top and trousers.
It also suggests checking children's heads and necks, and pets’ fur.
The council's cabinet member for public health, Cllr Liz Fairhurst said: “Ticks thrive in the sort of humid weather we’ve been experiencing at the start of the holiday period, so be sure to cover your arms and legs if you are out walking in wooded areas or long grass where they wait to attach themselves to passers-by. Don’t forget to check pets too.”
If you are bitten remove the tick as quickly as possible to reduce any potential risk of contracting Lyme disease. The safe way to remove a tick is by using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, or a device which can be bought from pharmacies or vets. Grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible, pull upwards slowly and firmly, as mouthparts left in the skin can cause an infection.
Once removed, apply antiseptic to the bite area and monitor for several weeks. Anyone feeling unwell or who develops a circular, red skin rash should contact their GP. Visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease