Us Brits tend to think of our little green island as pretty tame when it comes to hosting deadly insects, animals, and diseases, and in most cases, we’re absolutely right! Other than the odd zoo-escapee, we’re lucky enough to not have any scorpions hiding in cracks, great white sharks in our seas, or charging rhinos in our national parks!
Having said this, we’re not totally danger-free, and a recent study published in the Medical and Vetenary Entomology Journal has revealed one of the threats we should be paying more attention to!
The study, carried out by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine focused on popular London parks to see whether ticks in the area carried bacteria causing Lyme disease. Ticks are small creatures the size of a pin head. They can’t fly so they wait for animals or humans to brush past to attach to their skin. They flourish between late spring and Autumn and prefer dark, slightly moist environments like bracken, bushes, and long grass.
The study found that ticks in London’s Richmond park were carrying Lyme Disease bacteria. If untreated, Lyme disease can become severe, affecting the heart, joints and the nervous system. Early warning signs are a ‘bulls-eye’ rash, which can develop up to 30 days after the bite or even months later, as well as headaches, chills, fever and neck stiffness.
While Dr James Logan, a scientist on the study maintained that in general the risk in London was very low he stressed that precautions should be taken. As always, the best safeguard is to avoid all bites. The incognito® insect repellent works against ticks (as well as mosquitoes, midges and more!) so spraying or rolling it on before you go to parks will really help to give you the maximum protection against ticks. You can also use our CLOAK tips as well!
When you get home, check your body for tick bites. If you do find a bite, we advise you use a tick remover as this will help to ensure you remove the whole tick body. You can buy one from our online store here