Bloodsucking tick epidemic could be on the way
Blood sucking ticks could be on the way this summer due to the mild, wet winter which gave the insects optimal breeding conditions.
The Mirror reports that the arachnid parasites are about 3mm long, feed on mammals and birds and spread the potentially deadly Lyme disease.
Bristol University’s Professor Richard Wall told reporters:
“Ticks are most commonly found in woodland and long grass areas that are regularly used by dog walkers.
“Climate change can certainly be blamed for the increase as the warmer and damper weather provides a good environment for ticks.
“Another reason for the rise is the increase in deer as ticks feed on deer.
"They pose a considerable threat as they pass on many diseases, such as babesiosis in dogs and Lyme disease in humans.”
Their numbers have surged in the UK during the past 20 years and Prof Wall estimated there were now up to 20 ticks in every square metre of woodland reports The Mirror.
He urged dog owners to check themselves and their pets after every walk .
“Ticks are often found tucked up in creases of the body – the armpits or behind the ears.
"The best way to remove them is to use tweezers and put them close to the skin and press and twist out.”