First Aid Brisbane – What are Ticks


What are ticks?

Ticks are a parasite that feeds on animal and human blood to survive. There are more than 800 species of ticks that can be found around the world, with about 70 types of ticks found in Australia. There have been 16 species reported as known to feed on humans. Two major groups of ticks that can be identified as: hard ticks and soft ticks.

Hard ticks (family: Ixodidae) have a hard flat body hence why they are known as hard ticks, they also have elongated mouthparts with rows of backward pointing teeth. This particular group includes the most important species that can bite humans.

There are also soft ticks (family: Argasidae) these types have a wrinkled leathery appearance. Lucky for us only a few species of this type are found in Australia. The most important tick in Australia is known as the Paralysis Tick, and over 95% of tick bites in Eastern Australia are due to this particular species. Not many people realise that most tick-borne illnesses are due to this species.

Paralysis Ticks

One type of Paralysis Tick can be found in the Australian east of the Great Dividing Range, and possibly even into Tasmania. It is called the Ixodes holocyclus but is more commonly known as a grass tick, seed tick and bush tick depending upon its stage of its development. It is not known to occur in South Australia, Western Australia or the Northern Territory, lucky for them right.

However while the I. holocyclus is the most common type, there are two other Ixodes species in Australia which cause paralysis: I. hirsti, which occurs in South Australia and also has been documented in NSW and Tasmania, and I. cornuatus, which occurs in Tasmania and Victoria.

The ticks lifecycle can occur in four stages they are; the egg, larvae, nymph and the adults. The Paralysis Tick needs to feed on blood whether it be animal or human to develop through its lifecycle from the larvae stage to a nymph and to an adult. The adult female requires to take blood more seriously as it allows her to obtain protein for the laying of eggs.

How to remove Tick

If there is a tick attached to a person's skin, they should try to remove it immediately using the following methods:

• Wearing gloves is optional, but you will need to grasp the tick with clean tweezers or a tick twister as close to the skin as possible ensuring to grab the ticks head.
• If using tweezers Pull the tick straight out gently and steadily. if using the tick twister slid onto tick and twist until the tick come off.
• Do not try to remove tick with a hot match, cigarette bud or petroleum jelly, Vaseline, creams and moisturizers, etc. as this could cause the tick to regurgitate infected fluids into the wound.
• See a doctor if something doesn’t feel right after removal of the tick.

Tick Removal First Aid

First Aid Brisbane teach you to remove ticks safely

Training Information

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