Ticks are also parasites that feed on blood, about 70 of 800 species of ticks are found in Australia. There are two different types of ticks.
Hard Ticks- they have a hard flat body and elongated mouthparts with rows of backward pointing teeth. This group includes the most important species that bite humans.
Soft Ticks- They have a wrinkled leathery appearance. Only a few species of this type are found in Australia and they rarely come into contact with people.
The paralysis tick attaches itself by piercing its sharp mouthparts into skin. It then injects an anticoagulant (a substance that prevents blood from forming clots) saliva which allows it to feed without the blood clotting. In the case of the Paralysis Tick, the saliva may be highly toxic to some animals and, potentially, humans.
How remove a tick-
If you are concerned or allergic go to your nearest hospital or medical centres for treatment.
In non-allergic individuals or for larval or nymphal stage ticks:
- When removing a tick with fine tipped forceps (not household tweezers unless fine tipped forceps are not available), grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upwards with steady pressure and avoid jerking or twisting the tick.
- Prior to removal, the tick may be sprayed with an aerosol insect repellent containing pyrethrin or a pyrethroid chemical, although there is currently no evidence to suggest that this is of benefit. Permethrin based creams, which are available from chemists may also be used. Apply at least twice with a one minute interval between applications.
- If you have difficulty removing the tick or suffer any symptoms after removal, seek medical attention urgently.