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Take it from a Canadian, ticks aren’t nice – and climate change means they’re thriving in the UK

England and Scotland are experiencing a tick-borne virus outbreak. We don’t know the causes, but we know rising temperatures will mean more of them.

The Guardian, by Stephen Buranyi

Where I’m from, you can’t be considered a responsible outdoor person unless you’re willing to inspect your father’s naked body for ticks. Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada, has the dubious honour of being among the tick-iest places in the world. Surely these things are hard to measure, but reputable scientists claim it has the highest tick-to-person ratio in the country, and, at about one case of Lyme disease for every 1,000 residents per year, the highest incidence of Lyme disease as well. Walking outside on anything besides cut grass or concrete is likely to yield multiple tiny, near-indestructible arachnids that immediately make an upward dash for a warm crevice at the knee, armpit or often, groin, to burrow into.

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  1. It’s never a good idea to throw ticks on the fire. They will explode and scatter their infectious contents everywhere.
    Dosing oneself with DEET is nor enough. No repellent works well against ticks. Prevention requires the use of permethrin treated clothing, socks and footwear along with a skin repellent such as PiActive, Picaridin or icaridin along with frequent tick checks. Wearing permethrin treated footwear has been shown to reduce tick bites by 73.4%.

  2. To kill ticks safely, place them in alcohol.
    Ticks can also be placed in a Ziploc bag and then into the deep freeze for a few days.
    Don’t flush ticks down the toilet. Sanitary engineers have reported that ticks survive their ride through the sewage system.

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