how to protect yourself from ticks

Sunny days have arrived. The hikes are increasing, as are the ticks! After wintering, they return to the Auvergne: from March to June they breed in your gardens, in the forest, in the city and in the countryside. Here’s how to protect yourself.

However, they are not visible in the gardens, as in the forests of Auvergne, this year again it is difficult to avoid ticks. They reproduce with warmth. So Laurent Longchambon, project manager for the Permanent Center for Environmental Initiatives, has some advice for tourists. Prevention is better than cure: “You have to stay on track, that’s a good guideline. In the end, even if it is not always easy, it is necessary to have suitable clothing: well-closing shoes and transparent covering clothing. This will allow you to see ticks, even the smallest ones. The sooner we manage to find a tick, the better it will be for a person who walks in nature. » For animals, he also recommends checking paws and ears in particular.

To identify areas infested with mites, Laurent Longchambon uses a very simple strategy: apply a white sheet in hot and humid areas: “There are several species, we also have different stages. This is typical for ticks. We will have a larval stage, a pupal stage, and then an adult stage. Whatever the species, we must exercise a certain vigilance, firstly because we cannot easily recognize the species, and then the warning principle is to be on the lookout. » Among the most common ticks are ixodid. But whatever the species to feed on, these little vampires sit on the tops of leaves, waiting for the arrival of the first host, says Laurent Longchambon: “The smaller ones that climb less high attack small rodents more and after pupa and adult phase will be a little higher in the grass and tend to cling more easily to slightly larger mammals and who says mammal is called human. They are not going to jump on you to bite you, if they bite you, then to eat food..

Protect yourself from ticks while hiking

© L. Breuil/L. Pastural

Although not everyone carries the bacteria, some can transmit Lyme disease in humans or piroplasmosis in animals. However, not all ticks are dangerous to humans, and it is very difficult to determine what kind it is. So you always have to be careful. “The tick prefers tall grass, so it should not be trampled heavily. When you get home, you should take a look in the shower, check the hot and wet areas of the body, touch them, because they can be very small and you will not necessarily feel them. explains Laurent Longchambon. He adds: “Animals will be waiting for the first guest to come in to eat the 1st, 2nd or 3rd time. The aspect of extraction is relative. In parasitism, a person is not a victim, but a master. The host can be random. »

“If we crush the body, the entire bacterial load in the tick’s food bolus will be regurgitated into the bloodstream.”

In the case of a stuck tick, intervention in the first hours is necessary: “The idea is to be able to ideally apply the tick remover to the skin, between the animal’s head and the skin, to make a gentle clockwise rotation to extract the tick that is inserted by its proboscis. If we come to crush the body, all the bacterial load that is in the tick’s food bowl will be regurgitated into the blood, and we will increase the risk of diseases transmitted in this way,” Laurent Longchambon says If you are stung, he says, you must watch the area. Seek medical attention immediately if redness or marks appear. With climate change, mites are breeding earlier and earlier. They remain important for the balance of nature.

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