© Frances Michaels
Ticks are blood-sucking insects that can carry life threatening disease to humans as well as animals. These
include Queensland tick typhus and Spotted fever. The bite alone can be very irritating in sensitive
individuals causing a great of pain and discomfort. Ticks range in size from tiny pin-heads to large cattle
Ticks tend to migrate and congregate along roadsides. It is believed they are attracted to the carbon dioxide
emitted by passing car exhausts in their search for prey. Keeping the grass along roadsides mown will help
to reduce their numbers there.
Suggested Organic Strategies
- Wear dark-coloured long pants and sleeves while gardening or bushwalking as light colours are attractive
to ticks, although light coloured clothing does make the ticks easier to see.
- Always tuck your pants into your socks as ticks generally climb upwards, this gives you a longer time to
- Treat your shoes and socks with insect repellent.
- Remove embedded ticks carefully to avoid breaking off the mouthparts and leaving them behind. Grasp the
tick with the tweezers as close to the head as possible and exert steady gentle pressure until the tick
withdraws. Wipe the tick bite area with an antiseptic.
- An insecticidal soap or pyrethrum spray can be used in suspected areas outdoors where ticks may be