Ticks, midges, horseflies etc.

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  • Just found 2 ticks buried in my right leg.

    Last time I was in the countryside was when I was out mtbing on Monday but that'd mean they'd been on me for 72hours+ and they didn't look very engorged and were pretty tiny actually. Can't see where else I'd have come in contact though.

    Kind of freaking out that I'm going to contract Lyme disease or Anaplasmosis or something but I guess I just have to wait and see.

    Bit perplexing as I wasn't in long grass at all and only in short grass for mere minutes, rest of time was riding on fire tracks and I have had days in the peak of summer where I've been in long vegetation for hours and gotten the wife to check me over and never had anything attached to me up until now.


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  • The important thing regarding Lyme disease is to remove them properly. In fact I've read that you're better off letting them do their thing and fall off naturally than trying to remove them with say, a knife, but take that with a pinch of salt and check for yourself. Removing them by burning, with fingernails or tweezers, with a needle, and any of the other home remedies will cause them to regurgitate the blood they have consumed back into your blood. In some cases you end up removing the body and leaving the head in you as well (brutal). Removing them incorrectly is how you get Lyme disease. To remove them properly you need either the tick tweezers which have a little crescent shape on the end or a Tick Card which is a little credit card sized thing and what I have. Follow the instructions (obviously) and the tick won't regurgitate as it's removed. (Edit: there is still a risk of infection from any tick bite regardless of how it's removed.)

    Long trousers obviously help keep them off. And don't go around collecting big piles of dry grass with your bare hands - I got loads doing that.

    Lastly the target shape rash is not always present when you have Lyme disease. You could have a "regular" rash or no rash at all. Be aware of the other symptoms and if you've got a bunch of them go to a doctor (well, go anyway because you're obviously ill, but tell them you might have Lyme disease).

    You're in Scotland as well right? I didn't realise the little bastards were out already. I was hoping all the midges and ticks had been killed off in the snow this year - no such luck I guess.

    Anyway apologies if you know all this - just an info dump for anyone else who reads the thread.

    Edit: lymediseaseaction.org.uk says the following:

    If no tools are available, rather than delay use a fine thread, something like cotton or dental floss. Tie a single loop of thread around the tick’s mouthparts, as close to the skin as possible, then pull upwards and outwards without twisting.

    So ignore what I said about leaving them on.

  • Anyway apologies if you know all this...

    No need to apologise, like I say, I’m a tick newb so good to have the info.

    The one in the picture I posted was the 1st one I found and I didn’t even realise it was x tick at first. Thought it was just either a scab or a skin tag or something and was assent modestly picking at it when it came off...and started crawling around on my finger!

    After that I examined myself and found another that (forgetting all sensible advice) I pulled out with tweezers. It came out pretty easily and wasn’t crawling about like the first one, in fact it seemed either dead or asleep.

  • It seems ticks are pretty much everywhere now. I know there have been cases of people picking them up in London parks.

  • True.
    A few notes on comments upthread.

    Long trousers, sleeves ,gloves etc won't keep them out,
    they will just get longer to reach your skin.

    The long grass thing is misleading,
    grass is scarce round here,
    they thrive in bushes, undergrowth, lower trees.
    You get them climbing ,
    not much grass there.

    Frost ,lower temprature don't kill them,
    you go out for a walk mid winter to enjoy the new snow,
    the sun is out,
    so are the little zombies away from the ground active as ever.

  • Great... Can't wait for my two weeks in the Scottish Highlands this summer! :)

  • I've been dealing with the fallout of a tick bite for almost two years now. Not pleasant.

    Can't fucking believe they're out already... Used to be May was 'tick month'?

    Anyway-I'd been bitten loads of times before getting ill, but for most people the illness just feels like and lasts as long as the flu-the problem seems to be that ticks also carry Bartonella, Babesia, Erlichia and a fuck ton of other nice prehistoric infections so if you get one bite you can have a nice cocktail of bacterial turning your blood to shite.

    TLDR: If you feel fluey in the next few days/weeks go to the docs and insist on 30 days of antibiotics. If you don't have a rash and they refuse 1. tell them to look at the fucking NICE guidelines, or 2. if they still try and mug you off go promptly to your local Asda pharmacy and tell them you're going to India on holiday and need 60 days of Doxycycline, and take it at 400mg/day which is twice the docs here would give you but on par with France and Germany...

  • Fuck me I'm printing that out and putting it in a frame.
    Solid advice from, sadly, difficult experience.
    Thanks, dude.

  • I can't find that other thread with lots of this chat on?

  • pretty sure it was in the touring thread a while back-maybe 9 months ago?

  • I have a friend who does research in the jungles in Indonesia and other such places. Every time he goes off to do some fieldwork he comes back with some sort of horrific parasite - one time in particular he had some larval grub type thing living in his scalp and presumably trying to eat him. Anyway the doctors absolutely love him; every time he comes back and goes to get one of these things removed the doctor invites about 20 medical students in to watch as he removes the parasite. Must be good experience for them, and more exciting than dealing with another numpty who's gone to A&E with the flu.

    Not related to the tick chat but fun anyway.

  • Midges are about a trillion times more annoying than ticks (though they don't carry disease AFAIK)

  • Fuck...this thread makes me itch.

  • google Phones4U John Caudwell lymes disease - thats an eye opener!

  • Midges are a warming tingle compared to the leg melting agony of an infected horsefly bite.

    Felt like my ankles were going to erupt in a waterfall of burning hot puss with every step I took.

  • Yeah I remember you saying you’d been fucked up from a tick bite.

    So far so good, no flu-ey feelings or anything.

    I seem to have copped a bite or sting or something right in the middle of my forehead though. Presumably on the same day I got the ticks. Pretty good lump, reckon it’ll start talking any day now.

  • haha... I've a pal that went to Africa and had been back for a month when sitting in front of the TV his arm started getting really itchy-to his horror a big fucking stinking black fly then started working its way out his skin at which point he thinks he fainted because when he came to the fucker was nowhere to be seen.

    Srs though-the problem with Lyme is that it can be 2+ weeks after the event that you feel under the weather so you don't really associate it with any bites unless you get the rash. Apparently less than 50% of Scots will get it though because of genetics.

    Meh. Drinking cistus incanus tea is supposed to be a very good tick/mosquito repellent and also a natural antibiotic and antiviral for the future. I just ordered some so will report back if it tastes like thrice passed piss.

  • cistus incanus tea

    Apparently it whitens your teeth as well. Win!

  • Close shave the other week, just looking down the lense... then this. The rainbow Eyed ones the bitey female.


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  • These Tick Twisters are magic, gets all the mouth parts out very reliably (tested on dogs and the missus)


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  • Old bank card with a notch cut out is good apparently.

  • Maybe in an emergency, but for the sake of saving £2 for a proper removal tool I wouldn't risk it!

  • These are the German treatment guidelines for Lyme, which compared to the UK/USA version are much much better in terms of looking at testing and treatment vis. different species of ticks and co-infections.

    http://www.borreliose-gesellschaft.de/Te­xte/guidelines.pdf

    Will leave it here in case anyone in a jam is searching in future...

  • Permethrin is good for repelling and killing off ticks.

    I spray my trail running shoes and gaiters, outer shorts and jacket, with Johnsons 4 fleas Household Spray, which contains permethrin. I can tell when it's wearing off, when I find a tick. A fresh spray normally fends off all of them whilst running through Highland heather.

  • Old bank card with a notch cut out is good apparently.

    Since I always have my bank card on me I've just cut a notch in it. Hopefully it still works as a bank card!

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Ticks, midges, horseflies etc.

Posted by Avatar for M_V @M_V

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