donkerr's picture

By donkerr - Posted on 08 November 2011

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Was wondering if anyone else has managed to collect any ticks on rides around Oxford Falls and Terry Hills - I was out yesterday and later that evening I noticed something partially embedded in my leg - was a tick - about the size of a match head - are these common? - it's the second time I've had one on a ride. Can you just pull them out of the hole they are burrowing?

jase2101's picture

Yeah Donkerr, they are very common at this time of year. I've pulled 6 out of my dog in the last month! A pair of tweezers that don't have flat tips to get around the base of the tick are the go to pull them out. [Using flat tips can squash the tick on the way out & pump some poison into you] Apparently, ticks are more common in areas with large possum & bandicoot populations as they carry lots of them. Good luck with the removal.

Matt_B's picture

Plenty around
Just pull them out with tweezers or shave them off
Some can cause a nasty swelling for a few days
The effects are pretty random imho

Brian's picture

The further north on the Northern Beaches you go the more you get. We get heaps around our place.

muvro's picture

Go to your local Vet, they have a special tick removing tool that is fairly inexpensive. But they are the best for removing tcks as they get right in under the head and pull it all out.

Brian's picture

Or the right length finger nails do just fine. Even though ticks can do a lot more damage leaches still freak me out more. Gotta love the Aussie bush Smiling

MarkkyMarkk's picture

I'd never had a tick till last month when I got 3 in a few weeks. One on the back of the head, one on my hip and another on the shoulder. I can't be sure if i got them riding or in my garden, as my cat got one too that required her to spend the weekend at the vet $$$ - the paralysis tick is quite nasty to cats & dogs, so if they seem a little off colour check them over immediately. If they're making a little grunting noise with each breath get them to the vet straight away as this indicates that the venom has already partially paralysed the lungs & they need an anti-serum asap. Luckily I got my cat to the vet in plenty of time so she should recover fully in a few weeks, although she still walks rather gingerly due to some residual venom still in her system. The vet told me that they had 6 cats & dogs in with ticks last weekend.

Brian's picture

Just on protecting your pets. If you have a dog (and no cats) in my experience Advantix works much better then Frontline+. You can't use Advantix if you have cats though and you still have to check them every day regardless of what you use.

muvro's picture

Yep, I lost my dog last year to damn ticks. He had one the year before, and was never the same. Then got two in a month. They flogged my poor mate. It's damn heart breaking! I hate the Farken things!!! (ticks that is) I take great pleasure in destroying them when I get them on me or see them around.

trancex3's picture

Me and my riding partner both got ticks at the Glenrock open day. I had one on my hip, he had 2 in his neck and one on his shoulder.

Check yourself out after your rides....

philberesford's picture

It seems more common than I thought. I've only ever seen one in my life. I'd like to keep it that way.

hawkeye's picture

... should a tick be removed with tweezers without first being killed. You are dicing with your life. My daughter's maths tutor has had a horrendous time with a tick bite since March 2010 and has basically had to take a year off work to recover. Fortunately his business had been able to run without him, so money has kept coming in the door, but there has been an obvious cost to the business's prosperity. He's back running things, but is easily fatigued.

From: http://medent.usyd.edu.au/fact/ticks.htm#remove

Tick Removal

If a tick is detected that is attached, never attempt to place any chemical such as methylated spirits onto the tick, nor should it be touched or disturbed, as the tick will inject saliva into the skin, which could make the situation worse. Rather the tick should be sprayed with an aerosol insect repellent preferably containing pyrethrin or a pyrethroid (if a repellent cannot be found which contains a pyrethroid, then Lyclear, a scabies cream containing permethrin will work fine). The combination of hydrocarbons and the pyrethrin acts as a narcotic and a toxicant, and prevents the tick from injecting its saliva. The tick should be sprayed again one minute later (or dabbed with the Lyclear) and left. After 24 hours it should drop off naturally or be gently removed with fine-tipped forceps. It is normal for a tick bite to remain slightly itchy for several weeks, however if other symptoms develop, then a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Matt_B's picture

erm Hawkeye that post was last updated in 2003
most people pull them out with no ill effects apart from the usual tick crap that you get
some swell right up, others react later when they eat red meat, others end up with cumulative reactions; there are all sorts of reactions
they are real nasty little pests but a fact of life on the NB

The Brown Hornet's picture

We get heaps of ticks up here at our place (Blue Mtns), and we've always pulled them out with no adverse reactions. As long as you get the whole thing everything should be groovy.

ChopStiR's picture

I've never had one and have only ever seen one on a dog. I've been told to take great care when removing one. If you do attempt it yourself you must make sure the whole tick comes out including the head or you risk being poisoned and becoming very ill. Vets have a special tool that get under the ticks head. I have also heard of a method using a Stanley knife. But I think the insect repellent method is the better.

DigDig's picture

Vaso or a goppy sun block as they can not breath so drop off or pinch and pull.I got a few last landcare day at yella grass ticks are every were.

Brian's picture

Personally just get the f@#$ers out. Our dog recently had a couple and the first one she would cooperate getting it out so we took her to the vet and she removed it with her finger nails and got the whole thing out. She then got another one and Fiona removed it with her finger nails. Personally when I have had them I use pointy nose tweezers which is dead easy.

I don't really react to them and it looks like a mossie bite. Fiona on the other had reacts quite badly.

hawkeye's picture

OK, on further research, removal techniques look to be a bit more contentious than i first thought.

Given that link comes from a respected institution (The University of Sydney), and I doubt the tick population would have evolved in the last 7-8 years, I know whose advice I'll be taking. I also note that advice from authoritative sources I've been able to find that contradicts it (eg NSW govt) is even older... 2002 or even late 90's.

Another link that discusses a variety of options is found here:

That link seems to be from a veterinary products site, but most of the material covers impact on humans, and it quotes a lot of interesting sources, such as the St John's Ambulance First Aid Manual, among others.

Brian's picture

If you want to test the removal methods first hand, just do some bush care in Avalon over summer Sticking out tongue

Jonathan's picture

Cant you use an open flame like a lighter just behind them and they drop themselves off? No one has mentioned this method, maybe theres a reason.

Matt_B's picture

just come over to my place

Brian's picture

I've also heard, if you want to build up an immunity to them you eat them after removal. I'd kill them first as well.

PS. I'm not recommending this and I'd probably do your own research first.

Matt_B's picture

I think that's what the chimps do

moggio's picture

I have seen a little removal tool at the supermarkey the other day. Looks like a little plastic spoon with a tapered notch in it.... was in the pet section.

Online there are a whole heap of them.. obviously meant mainly for pets but I think fine on us animals too.

beaver's picture

ticks are definately out of control at the moment...the little suckers hang out in trees and wait for an unsuspecting animal (mtbers) to stop and have a rest...then drop down ane bury their heads into your flesh...if they are flat when you find them they havnt been there long...if theyre engorged then you have to be a bit more careful but ive found the tick tweezers to be good for getting them out head and all...
As for what to use on your animals i think it depends where you live but in the Blue Mountains ive had good results with the Frontline+...we have pulled numerous dead ticks off our dog and have even seen live ones trying to jump off him...

MarkkyMarkk's picture

There seems to be loads of different methods on the internet about the best way to remove ticks, but my vet said that it doesn't really matter how you do it. The vet just used her fingers to turn the little bugger upside down & pinched it out of my cat's neck. It came out cleanly without leaving any of the tick's mouth parts embeded, but she said it doesn't really matter if any bits get left in. The most important thing is to get the little buggers out. If the tick's been on for any time its already been injecting toxins into the bloodstream, any residual mouthparts left in the skin aren't going to be as much a problem - especially if its a paralysis tick.
Obviously, if the tick is too small to grab with your fingers, use some smaller fingers (kids can be handy sometimes) or get some tweezers.
For protecting cats - the vet recommended the Advantage product even though its not labelled for ticks, something to do with the manufacturer not having bothered with going through the certification process, even though their equivalent product for dogs is labelled & certified. A bit weird....

Volker's picture

Hate the buggers. Are the ticks prone to carrying diseases around here or are they just the normal nuisance? I got Boreliose once from a tick bite. That won me a rather massive shot of antibiotics, nothing I would want to do too often.

MarkkyMarkk's picture

There's some debate whether or not Lyme Disease exists in Australia or not, which is something that can be transmitted by ticks. Otherwise I'm not aware of anything else that ticks may carry, just the usual adverse reactions that some people can have - just like mozzie bites or bee stings, i guess.

Morgan1's picture

Pinch carefully with Tweezers (or very carefully with a leathermans) and turn slowly anticlockwise, ensure the head comes out.

Matt_B's picture

you have to twist clockwise on the ones we get
may be a different species

philberesford's picture

Which hemisphere you live in.

garyinoz's picture

I'd been avoiding reading this topic and so wish I had left it that way. I think I'll just stay in doors (without any pets) Eye-wink

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