Should you be afraid of ticks?
Every year, with the advent of the summer season, a collective panic begins and all repellants are bought up. The media talks about Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. There are absurd recommendations that tell you to go to the doctor right after a tiny tick bites you. It is not recommended to leave forest paths and enter tall grass. It's best to stay home and close the windows tightly. The blame for this state of affairs lies mainly with the producers of various drugs, whose task is to scare away small arachnids. I do not question that ticks transmit serious diseases and that they can infect us with them. However, I would like to present my case to you as proof of a rule that is accepted all over Europe.
Spray for ticks and tests for Lyme disease
I have been associated with forest areas since I was born. In the last 30 years, I don't remember the month that I would not wind through the thick forest. As you can easily guess, this way of life is associated with at least a few tick bites per year. Sometimes they can be prevented by applying a tick spray with oil from narrow-leaved lavender - a plant known to effectively repel bloodsucking arachnids. It happens, however, that the repellent doesn't work or we do not spray ourselves thoroughly and the tick bites us anyway.
Three years ago, concerned about the increasing reports of Lyme infections, I decided to get examined by a doctor. The result turned out to be negative. Nearly 100 bites in my life and not a single infection? How it's possible?
How to protect yourself from a tick? The 24-hour rule
Studies conducted on mice at the Pasteur Institute have shown that transmission of the pathogen from ticks to humans occurs only 24 hours after the arachnid bites. In extreme cases it may be 12 hours. All you need to do is take a shower after each out in the field, check your body carefully and remove all ticks, and you will not need to visit a doctor or take antibiotics.
I have been doing this all my life, not realizing that by neglecting this activity, I could run the risk of serious health problems. At the same time, I can confidently say that you should not be afraid of ticks. You will certainly need a properly completed first aid kit with a disinfectant, tweezers or even a pump for removing ticks. You have to make sure that the arachnids do not settle on our body too often.
Ticks can also be avoided. Here are proven ways:
Due to the materials used, tourist bottles can be easily divided into:
- Avoid tall clumps of grass and ferns. Do not walk under dense, low-hanging branches.
- Try to evenly distribute your strength and not put on too many layers. Ticks are attracted to the smell of sweat.
- Long legs in pants are the basis. Ticks bite most often from the waist down, in places such as bending the knees.
It is true that in our climate there is no malaria or Dengue fever, but when you set off into the wilderness, you should also think about mosquito spray. It's not just that flying insects make our lives unpleasant on summer evenings. It is worth protecting yourself, because - although few people know about it - even in Poland, it is rarely possible to contract heartworm disease. More and more often - so far it only applies to dogs - Polish mosquitoes infect with leishmaniosis. If left untreated, the flagellate disease causes ulceration, fever, and eventually death.
Author: Kajetan Wilczyński
Edited by: Tomasz Świgoń