Tick Tips

1. Know where to expect ticks.

Ticks are born as small six legged larvae, less than 1mm in size. They feed on small rodents such as mice or birds. The larva will develop two more legs and mature into nymphs. These nymphs begin to search for larger animals to feed on, where they will mature into adults, feed and mate.

They are able to detect carbon dioxide from passing animals and lay in wait in tall grasses, bushes and overhanging branches. Unfortunately, humans, pets, farm animals as well as wildlife are prey to the waiting tick.

Ticks that carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease are found throughout Ireland, the UK, other parts of Europe and North America. It is important to be aware and protect yourself when in areas ticks may live.

2. Use insect repellent.

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Lyme disease, so prevention is key.  Ticks don’t jump or fly, but climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something they’re on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood. Using a good quality insect repellent, such as TMB Outdoors is essential.

To purchase TMB Outdoors x 100ml for €12.50 click here.

3.Tuck your trouser legs into your socks.

This helps to deter ticks from crawling inside your trouser legs, or down into socks and shoes. Gaiters can be a worthwhile investment if you hike in risk areas often.

Light coloured clothing makes it much easier to see ticks caught on your clothing.

 

4. Take a walking stick with you.

Where possible keep to footpaths and avoid long grass when out hiking. Where you can’t, use a walking stick to tap the vegetation ahead of you, knocking off any waiting ticks.

 

5. Carry a tick remover.

Generally, you’re more likely to experience issues if the tick remains attached to your skin for more than 24 hours.  By having a tock remover with you any attached ticks can be removed immediately. How a tick is removed is important. Incorrect removal can result in injury to the tick or partial removal resulting in localised infection and regurgitating fluids into the host, potentially causing serious infection. The Tick Twister® is favoured by professionals (veterinary, medical and horticultural workers) for safe and effective tick removal.

The Tick Twister® cradles the body of the tick and doesn’t exert pressure to the mouth or body of the tick. The Tick Twister is suitable for removal of ticks from both humans and animals and can be disinfected with normal disinfectants.

 To purchase a Tick Twister® with Silicone Grip handle for €5.50 click here.

6. Check your body carefully for ticks after being outdoors.

Ticks prefer warm, moist, dark areas of the body, preferred areas include: belly button, around or in the ear, hairline and scalp, joints: back of knee, elbow, between fingers and toes and underarms, clothing pressure points: underwear elastic, belts, collar. It is still important to check your whole body.

 

Image c The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 7. Be a ”Tick Buddy”

It can often be difficult to check all over the body so help your hiking companions to check for ticks in places they can’t see: back of the head, neck and behind and in their ears.

8. Protect your pets.

 We sometimes forget our furry friends are also at risk. Make sure your horse, dog and cat get their regular flea and tick preventative.  And keep that first aid kit close by in case of bee and wasp stings! For more advice on hiking safety for your pets talk to your vet.

It’s recommended that we drink two and a half litres of clean water every day to keep our bodies running smoothly.

Our bodies are composed from 60% water, so it’s no surprise that water is so important . It’s essential to plan ahead when going camping, travelling abroad or heading anywhere that you are unsure about the availability or sanitation of water.

Here are just four waterborne diseases to show why purification is so important.

 Cryptosporidium

This parasite can also cause gastrointestinal problems for those affected. For people with weaker immune systems it can even be life threatening. Cryptosporidium can be found all over the world and was even identified in Galway in 2007, with residents being recommended to boil the water from their taps.

Hepatitis A

A viral liver infection, this is best avoided as there is no cure and can last 2-6 months. Symptoms tend to start as aches and sickness along with a fever. As it is a liver infection you can also become jaundiced.

Typhoid Fever

This highly contagious bacterial infection is found in areas with poor sanitation and a lack of clean water. Stomach pains and headaches are accompanied by a bad fever and in some cases can become fatal.

Salmonella

This bacterial infection can be transmitted through untreated water and food. Sickness and fever are the usual symptoms.

 

All of this doesn’t make for particularly cheerful reading, but there is good news.

These nasty waterborne diseases can be prevented by taking the right action!

 

How to purify water

Boiling

Put the kettle on! This method is the best known and some would say simplest. It’s important to make sure that the water has been boiled for a good 5 minutes to ensure it is safe. Then of course you need to wait until it has cooled to drink.

Chemicals

A great method is to use water purification tablets.

TMB Water Purification Tablets

Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) is one of the most eff­ective water disinfectants available.  TMB water purification tablets can be used to treat water sourced from rivers, wells and taps. Effective against a wide range of water borne diseases including Cryptospoidium and Giardia.

Each pack contains 30 convenient, individually foil wrapped tablets – each tablet will treat 1 litre of water.

Filter System

717f-So8y7L._SX355_

The Lifestraw product incorporates mechanical filtration. When you suck on your LifeStraw, water is forced through hollow fibres. Almost all dirt, bacteria or parasites are trapped in the fibres, while the clean water passes through. When you’re done drinking, you simply blow air out the straw to clear the filter.

There are many changes in the insect repellent market due to the European Biocidal Products Regulations. This has led to a lot of our customers contacting us for clarification. Our TMB Team has answered some of the most common questions below.

TMB

What is a biocide?

A biocide is any substance that repels, attracts or kills any living organism.

What are the Biocidal Products Regulations?

The Biocidal Products Regulations 528/2012 are a strict code that has been introduced across Europe to ensure all manufacturers will have to comply with the same rules and regulations no matter which country they are from. The idea is that the most sensible common practices are used across the whole of Europe.

What is DEET?

DEET (diethyltoluamide) is considered the most effective mosquito repellent available today. It was developed in the US in 1944 for military use originally and is formulated so that the mosquito’s receptors are blocked from sensing the sweat, smell or CO2 given off by a human.

 

Do TMB Insect Repellents comply?

Of course, TMB have worked with many experts to ensure that our repellents meet the relevant and legal obligations set out within the Biocide Product Directive.

 

 

So which repellent should I use?

TMB offer a full range of insect repellents for every requirement. Here is a quick guide:

If you are going to Europe with little risk of malaria, then a milder repellent, such as TMB Outdoors or TMB Natural repellent would be best suited.

If you are travelling off the beaten track into Asia, Africa or South America, we would always recommend DEET or Saltidin based products.

For the jungle or in areas of high temperature or high risk, TMB Classic or TMB Extreme would certainly be recommended.

For families with children travelling to malarial areas, we would suggest TMB Extreme as the DEET concentration is 30% but it is longer lasting, swear and splash resistant.

What else do I need to consider?

The most important thing is to enjoy your travels. We try our hardest to make our products easy to use and effective so your trip can be the fun experience it should be!

Avoid Bed Bugs!

Bed bugs are found worldwide and are a problem for many travellers. They are often found in hostels but can also make their way into hotels and transport links, taking a ride in suitcases and backpacks. 

When fully grown, bed bugs are visible to the naked eye: they are around 4–6mm in length and a flat oval shape. Bed bugs live in cracks and crevices within walls and furniture such as bed frames and mattresses – hence their name! They can also live for up to a year without feeding, so can remain in their new found home quite comfortably for some time without a host to feed on so they are very difficult to get rid of!

Bed bugs mainly bite at night when a person is sleeping. The combination of body heat and carbon dioxide attracts these tiny bugs to bite exposed skin areas. They feed on blood. Bed bugs are not known to carry disease but some people develop itchy red bumps which can last several days.

How you can avoid bed bugs:

Before You Arrive: 

• Plan where to stay, check reviews and recent complaints of bedbugs at hotels

When you Check In: 

• If you suspect your bed is infested- treat the sheets with a fabric insecticide treatment, just make sure your bedding is totally dry before climbing in!

• Plan where to stay, check reviews and recent complaints of bedbugs at hotels

• Be aware of a musty odour (from bugs scent glands) in the room. This may be a sign of a large infestation.

• Look out for black spots on bedding; these will be blood spots from squashed bugs after feeding

• Store your suitcase/backpack on a stand, away from the bed and walls

While you’re Sleeping:

• Sleep in your own sleeping bag/liner and use a bed bug sheet, preferably impregnated with insecticide.

Single-Bed-Bug-Sheet-300x300

While you’re Travelling: 

• Sleep under an impregnated mosquito net

• Clean bedding in hot water and dry on the highest dry setting

• Pack any dirty clothes that may be infested in a tight sealable bag

If you get bitten: 

• Bites from bed bugs are often in straight lines as opposed to mosquito bites which are more random. This will help you to identify whether it mosquitoes or bed bugs that have bitten you

• A mild steroid cream such as hydrocortisone and some antihistamines can help manage to manage any itching