Everything you need
to know about ticks

Attention! Ticks!

Despite what many people believe, ticks do not attack only in the summer or jump on us from trees. Each year winters in our geographical region are milder and seasons are slowly becoming less defined. As a result, tick season has extended and lasts from March to November because ticks need temperatures of 7-10°C to stay active.

Will we only find a tick in the forest? Well no...

Ticks are literally everywhere: in parks, gardens, lawns, meadows, playgrounds. Chances are we can find them in the bushes near our house. They do not fall from trees. They prey approximately 1 metre above the ground. Their Haller’s organ is very well-developed, so they can detect potential hosts from at a long distance. Apart from detecting body temperature, they can also recognise ingredients in our sweat and the carbon dioxide we exhale.

Why don’t we feel a tick’s bite?

Because ticks secrete a substance which works like local anaesthesia, so we do not feel their bite or itchiness.

Ticks are dangerous

Ticks pose a real threat to our life and health because they transmit many diseases, including Lyme disease.

What affects the spread of ticks

The Climate Coalition in Poland and HEAL Poland warn against the spreading of ticks. The following factors affect the spreading of ticks: rapid temperature changes, mild winters, humidity and blurred seasonal boundaries.

Areas of the body where the tick may be present

Most often they cling to clothes or pets’ hair. Once a tick hooks onto us, it starts looking for the right place to bite. Usually, they look for places where the skin is thinner. e.g. under the knees, under the breasts, in the groins.

Step by step tick removal
with tick extractor

Step 1

Pick the tick extractor depending on the size of the tick. Disinfect the tick extractor.

Step 2

Grasp the tick as close to the surface of your skin as possible.

Step 3

Twist the tick, the side of the twirling doesn't matter.

Step 4

After removing the tick, place it on a piece of paper and check that it is completely removed.

Step 5

Disinfect the site of the contact and wash your hands with soap and water. Disinfect also the tick extractor, because it's reusable.

The development cycle of the tick

Full cycle - about 2-3 years

Family of ticks

Ticks (Ixodes) are parasites, classified as arachnids. Ixodes ricinus (castor bean tick) is the most important species in the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases of humans and animals. It poses the most serious threat to humans. It has 3 lifecycle stages: larva, nymph and imago (adult), and humans are the hosts of all tick’s lifestyle stages. Depending on the lifestyle stage, ticks are 1-5 mm long, that is why it is so difficult to notice them on the skin or clothing.

Males and females

Males are smaller (2 mm long). They feed on a small amount of the host’s blood and slightly increase in size. Females are big and gluttonous. The top of the abdomen in females is covered with a small shield-like structure, allowing them to extract big amounts of the host’s blood. Female tick can increase its size up to 2 cm, looking like a cute bead. One female can lay even 3 thousand eggs.

Tick-borne diseases

Ticks transmit many pathogens which are dangerous for our health and life. The most harmful, and recognised, thick-borne diseases include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Q fever
  • Tularemia
  • Bartonellosis
  • Ehrlichiosis (anaplasmosis)
  • Tick-borne encephalitis
  • Spotted fever group rickettsioses

Home test for detecting Lyme disease spirochetes in a tick

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