Ticks - by Ed Frazer with a note from Gordon Grigg

Last year after I had been in our bush taking photos I found I had a tick just above my ear. Not uncommon for me. I must have had dozens, even hundreds, over the 45 years I have been wandering around on our property in the bush.

I just pulled it out without thinking and within minutes I was pink and purple all over gasping for  breath. The ambulance was called and they pumped me with adrenalin and carted me off for the night at the Wesley.

I really felt OK even before we got to the hospital, but they wouldn’t let me go until they had me equipped with an Epipen and showed me the correct way to use it.

I was also referred to a very comprehensive Tick Removal website which said all the ways we have relied on for taking ticks out are wrong and I now have “Medi Freeze Tag Remover” (approximately $26.00) in the cupboard for next time.

I was talking to veteran bushman Geoff Mohr about my experience and his theory was that ticks have become a lot more dangerous these days because of the increase in the number of feral deer in the area.

 Feral deer - Photo supplied by Ed Frazer

Some people are becoming allergic to eating red meat after tick episodes. I’ve become a lot more careful in the bush now. I wear long trousers tucked into my socks and use insect repellent.

So, with tick season just around the corner watch out for the ticks and have some Tag Remover in the cupboard!

An additional note from Gordon Grigg

Aerostart is a cheaper alternative to the ‘Medi Freeze Skin Tag Remover’ or ‘Wartoff’, and one can will last for years and many many applications.  In sensitive areas, a cotton bud or even a moistened finger can be used as an applicator.  We were advised to use it by a doctor at Royal Brisbane Hospital years ago and have found it very effective.

The main thing to realise is that killing the tick is the important bit. Removing it is of secondary importance, and in the case of tick larvae there’s no need at all (realise that even a little squeeze in the removal process can inject fluid from the tick that may start a tissue reaction).

An article I wrote for the MCCG Summer Newsletter in 2011 about ticks and the use of Aerostart was modified and included in the July 2015 Land for Wildlife newsletter.

There’s also a lot of useful information about ticks and how to deal with them in an item on the ABC website.  In it I was pleased to learn that the usefulness of Aerostart, alongside other ether containing preparations, has been given approval by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) as indicated in the Tick Removal website link provided by Ed above.  

Click here to open the MCCG newsletter:

Newsletter Summer 2011 Newsletter Summer 2011 (437 KB)

Note: Aerostart is available at SupaCheap Auto for $16.99. 

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