Dutch spring is here and so are the ticks- watch out!
The Dutch weather is taking us on a roller coaster ride. Never before have there been so many warm days in February. On Monday, February 25, Maastricht experienced its 7th day of the month with temperatures above 15C, breaking the previous record from 1920. It was also the warmest day in February since weather measurements began in De Bilt in 1901, with temperatures climbing to 18,3C.
Warning: watch out for tick bites
Whilst nature might be blooming ahead of time due to the warmer than usual temperatures, other creatures are also waking up earlier than expected. As such, ticks are already active in the Netherlands. So, if you are planning on going on a nice walk in Dutch nature, make sure you are wary of ticks and tick bites.
Ticks can become active at temperatures above 5C. Experts recently went into the forest to sample and determine whether there were active ticks about as early as February. They found 81 specimens, a number usually only found at the start of May.
If you are bitten, you may contract Lyme disease. Lyme disease can cause chronic pain, concentration problems and fatigue. Luckily, not all ticks are infected with this disease.
Check yourself for ticks
If you are thinking of taking a stroll outside, don’t forget to check yourself for ticks after, even if you have just been in your own garden. Ticks are usually found in bushes and tall grass. They transfer themselves to people or animals passing by.
You should pay particular attention to the groin area, between the butt cheeks, the backs of knees, armpits and behind ears when checking, as the critters can usually be found there. They should be removed as soon as possible and afterwards the affected area will need to be monitored for three months for symptoms of Lyme disease, such as a red ring around the area or fever-like symptoms.
Are you experiencing symptoms after a bite? Contact your doctor.