Caution urged amid south coast tick boom warnings

MURRAH woman Jacqui van Teulingen is urging locals and tourists alike to be wary of ticks on the Far South Coast after seeing a boom in the parasite’s numbers recently.

As the weather warms up, Dogs NSW and the RSPCA are already warning of “the worst tick season in memory”.

However, they are focused on the dangers paralysis ticks pose to pets.

Lyme disease sufferer Ms van Teulingen said there is just as much danger for humans and that her experience bears out the claims this will be a bad season for ticks

“We live surrounded on three sides by national park,” Ms van Teulingen said.

“There are bandicoots coming through our yard every day dropping ticks.

“We’ve lived here for three years and have never had this big of a problem.

“We are getting a tick on us at least once a fortnight - this has never happened here before.”

Ms van Teulingen said the reason for the tick population boom is the previous two wet seasons and now the recent dry warmer weather fitting in perfectly with the tick’s reproductive cycle.

She is warning people to be vigilant lest they are bitten and possibly end up infected with the controversial Lyme disease – controversial as Australian health authorities refuse to acknowledge its existence in Australian ticks.

Ms van Teulingen said an insect repellent with DEET is an essential for preventing tick bites, but that correct information is vital.

“Contrary to popular belief, ticks don’t drop from trees onto your head,” she said.

“They are either on the ground or can get onto you from brushing past bushes when you’re out walking.

“They then try to get as high as they can go.”

The dangerous shell back tick

The dangerous shell back tick