My name is Luna – I live by the second tree
I live round the corner from you
Guess you ought to watch out for me!
Of course, Luna doesn’t care if you’re careful or not – all she wants is a meal to help her grow – she will quite happily latch onto a human’s legs if they happen to walk past. Even better is behind a nice warm ear, under the groin area or beneath hair. Any blood rich area will do!
Here’s some tips on tick prevention, suggested by a vet and fellow Eurolyme member Laurence Swift:
Here are some measures to reduce the tick population, without
Ticks dessicate easily, especially the younger forms. They need a high
humidity to survive and breed. IIRR, something around 70 to 90% RH.
Obviously warm wet weather doesn’t help us. Here’s a few suggestions –
Keep all grass short. Not just the lawns – I’m talking about the long
grass at the edges, in hedges, and under or against fencing. A good
strimmer is your friend here. By short I mean lawn height, 1/2 inch
from the ground.
Watch all vegetation beside paths etc. Long leaves dangling over the
walkways can provide ticks with somewhere to hang on, to wait for
their next victim. No leaf should overhang a path. Then keep to the
Prune back hedges & trees that might shade areas of the garden from
direct sunlight. Sunshine will help dry out the grass & other
Ticks will come into your garden as parasites on hedgehogs, and other
small animals. Obviously you want to keep friendly with the local
hedghog population – they keep down the slugs & snails. As do the
frogs & toads. It’s called biological control, and avoids using
poisons. So if you find a hedgehog, try & examine him for ticks. He
may have some. Handle him gently – incredibly, they become tame to
handle in a few minutes. If he has ticks, give him a spray of
Frontline* (see note below before applying frontline) from your vet’s.
Maybe keep him in a cardboard box overnight with a saucer of cat
food – the ticks should fall off. Don’t do this in mid-summer, it may
be a female with babes to feed.
If your garden is walled securely so that small animals can’t get in,
you shouldn’t have much problem with ticks, but you could try keeping
a few of the larger quail or the very small bantams. These critters
are fantastic at eating houseflies off the wall. And all other
undesirable creepy-crawlies. [PS only if you don’t have cats!]
NB: To treat hedgehogs infested with ticks please note the following:
*Use Frontline™ Flea spray from the Vets. But be careful! Never spray it onto the Hedgehog! It is safe to be used on Hedgehogs, but it can cause severe breathing problems when breathed in or absorbed through the skin. This can kill a Hedgehog!
*The safest way to use it is to spray it into a medicine cup about ½ ml to 1 ml.
*Then you can use a cotton wool bud to wipe a tiny bit of the spray onto the Tick. This will ensure that none of the Frontline will get onto the Hedgehog.
Above all, keep safe – sleep tight and don’t let the tick bugs bite!!