There are things that many of us cannot understand, there is no logical explanation for them. For us at first glance, useless animals, useless plants. But nature knows what it does. She created nothing and no one without purpose. The tick is one of the creatures that evokes especially negative emotions. Small, ugly, scare whole crowds of people, one of the black sheep of the insect family.
The territory of the Czech Republic boasts one of the largest occurrences of these arachnids. Like other parasites, they are indicators of health in the area and, of course, members of the food chain. There are several species of ticks, but this is not essential for the topic of today's article.
Before a tick egg becomes an adult, it goes through three developmental stages, each lasting up to a year. The larva measures less than 1 mm and has three pairs of legs. It feeds mainly on small mammals. Subsequent metamorphosis leads to the formation of a nymph. It is larger, up to 1.5 mm, and also has one extra pair of legs. Its breadwinners are animals such as hedgehogs, cats, dogs, foxes and humans. After gaining enough energy and falling away from the host, the nymph becomes an adult tick.
Males can be identified very easily from the female by color - the female has a dark shield and a brown to reddish-brown buttocks, the male is completely covered by a dark shield.
The life role of the male is to produce a new generation, after its fulfillment it dies. Females choose larger animals as food sources, such as horses, cattle, deer, humans. The next week or two, the female prepares to lay eggs, there are 2,500 or more of them in the clutch.
At every stage of life when the tick sucks, it can be a carrier of disease. The best known are Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. Other less common tick-borne diseases are ehrlichiosis, bartonellosis, babesiosis, tularemia.
Concerns about tick-borne diseases are understandable, but ticks still need to be accepted as a natural part of our environment and it is therefore appropriate to focus primarily on prevention.
For a walk in the woods or on a meadow between yourself and a tick, place bright clothes with long pants and sleeves as a barrier for easy detection of individuals who will attach to you.
Another option is not to smell ticks. The fastest and easiest way, of course, is to buy a proven repellent and use it as needed. But more and more people prefer natural ways of protection and treatment. One of the possibilities is essential oils, or preparations made from them. Essential oils are created by distillation from plants and carry their power and effects. They have a rich spectrum of effects and uses. Lavender is especially true for ticks. It can be used to repel them as well as to disinfect the wound for its antiseptic and healing effects. Drip the oil on the shoes, the bottom hem of the trousers, or other parts of the clothing, it will serve to repel insects. You can also try taking increased doses of vitamin B, or inserting a cloth bag with a freshly crushed clove into the hem of your pants. There are countless possibilities and grandmothers' advice.
If the protection fails and a tick finds its way on the skin, it needs to be removed as soon as possible and as gently as possible. Be sure not to kill the tick before removing it so that it does not discharge the contents of its intestines into the wound, as this will increase the risk of infection. Forget the tweezers, dripping oil and furious twisting. The tick has return hooks on the sucker, so it doesn't matter if we turn it to the right, to the left, or to swing it. The most suitable tool for pulling out a tick is either a special card or a hook, which is more suitable for small individuals. After pulling out, treat the wound with a proven disinfection or, for example, again with essential oil, lavender or tea tree. If the tick cannot be pulled out completely, there is no need to panic, the body will deal with the rest in the same way as, for example, with splinters. And stay cool, unnecessary stress weakens the body and that's something you definitely don't need.
Frequent manifestations of diseases that a person can catch from ticks are fever, fatigue, malaise, joint pain. Therefore, if you do not feel in your skin after finding a tick, see your doctor.
Do not crush or burn the removed tick, a safe way to dispose of it is to simply flush it down the toilet.
It is also possible to protect the garden from ticks, especially by creating a dry barrier around the boundary of the plot using stones, paving, gravel or wood chips. It is also advisable to plant insect-repellent herbs in the garden and keep the lawn as short as possible.
Enjoy summer, walks and picnics with an open heart and mind and without worries about the world around us.