In France ticks are most common between May and October when temperatures are between 7 and 25°C, but with the summer sun in July and August they are fewer in number, now they will be back.
Ticks can pose real dangers to your pets prompting diseases such as leishmaniasis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and heartworm which can prove fatal to your pets so precautions should be taken.
It is possible to buy Frontline spray-on and spot treatment that can be applied to cats and dogs, make sure your pet doesn’t try and shake it off once applied.
But also make a habit of looking over your pet for the distinctive tick, there is a larger black variety and a small red coloured one.
Learning how to stay clear of ticks yourself and safely unhook them from your skin is an important skill to have, because they can pass on Lyme disease, which can see people suffer flu-like symptoms for a long period of time.
The UK-based Lyme Disease Association works to raise awareness amongst doctors of the symptoms and offers advice and tips on the illness.
Here are some tips you can use next time you are out in the forest and long grass:
- Wear light-coloured clothing that shows ticks easily and covers arms and legs. Wear long-sleeved shirts, tight at the wrists, long pants tight at the ankles and tucked into socks, and shoes covering the whole foot.
- Apply diethyltoluamide (e.g., DEET) to skin and permethrin to clothing. But do not apply it to clothing while it is being worn, and allow the clothing to thoroughly dry before wearing.
- Perform daily checks of skin for ticks. Check children two to three times a day. Check under waistbands, sock tops, under arms and any other moist areas.
- Use a tick removal tool that are available from vets and pet shops that are designed to be twisted to facilitate removal.
- Suffocating the tick with oil, cream etc. may induce injection of more infectious material into the body, so do not use petroleum jelly, burning matches or cigarette ends, nail polish or other products.
- Be aware that engorged ticks will contain potentially infected blood, which may splatter when crushed. Do not crush the tick with your fingers and do not allow the crushed tick or the blood it carried to contact your skin.