Last week it was National Tick week in the Netherlands. We took this opportunity to highlight and share our knowledge around (prevention of) ticks. Care Plus® has close to 28 years of expertise in safe travels & great stories (our mission!). Since 1997 we have been putting out specific content and products to prevent tick bites and to remove ticks safely and quickly.
In our Travel Health Podcast no.3 we are talking about the growth of the tick-population and why that is. We also talk about some persistent myths regarding ticks and moreover create more awareness for the prevention of tick bites.
We have two experts in the field of tick research and tick prevention to join our “tick-talk”
Fedor Gassner: ”I’m an independent expert in biological hazards and risks at (and owner of) Gassner Biological Risk Consultancy since 2015. My core business is to support private and government organisations in dealing with and controlling biological risks. I will continue to apply my expertise on the ecology and prevention of tick bites and Lyme borreliosis. Knowing all about biological hazards such as tick bites is one thing, but transferring such knowledge to relevant stakeholders and making sure they are motivated and equipped to apply this knowledge is what I stand for.”
Steve Schofield: “I am the Senior Advisor of Pest Management and Entomology for the Directorate of Force Health Protection within the Canadian Forces Health Services. I specialize in the field of mosquito and tick protection. Main focus is permethrin impregnated clothing for the Canadian Military.”
Myths about ticks
There are quite a few persistent myths about ticks buzzing around. One of the persistent stories people tell each other is that ticks fall from (oak)trees onto people. The source of this myth is unknown, but our experts emphasize that the habitat of ticks is close to the ground, in bushes, rubble, forest soil (shady and moist) and on taller grass helms where they wait for mammals to pass by. It is very unlikely that ticks, as small as they are (1mm), want to spend their energy climbing trees!
30% increase of registered tick bitesIn June 2020 the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) shared some numbers on registered tick bites (1.500.000!) and infected people (> 20.000)1. There was an increase of 30% in tick bites from 2010 to 2017 in the Netherlands. Main reason for the increase of bites is the increase of deer population in the Netherlands and the dense population.
Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)
Ticks may carry the borrelia bacteria and/or the TBE virus. It is really important to always be aware of ticks when you go outside in tick season (March untill October) and remove them from your body as soon as possible! Other folk wisdom is that ticks can be removed with alcohol, matches or soap. That is however dangerous as a tick can dispose its stomach content into the bloodstream and transfer harmful diseases in this way. We advice you to use the a quality tick remover.
Learn more about ticks and the importance of tick bite prevention in our third podcast hosted by Arnoud Aalbersberg.
1) Numbers are from RIVM