How do you tackle creepy crawlies?

Dirty, nasty crawly creatures such as the tick and the louse/nit, we all have to deal with them sometimes. If we don’t get them ourselves, someone around us will get them and we also run the risk of itching! How do you recognize the bugs, what do they do, how can you combat itching and how can you prevent an infection? With this information you will be free of the itching and you will know what to do about it.

The terror of the tick

What does the animal look like?

It resembles a black mini spider, it has eight legs and is about 1-3 mm in size. When it has gorged itself with blood, it could be as big as a grape. It is most active from March to November and loves wet summers.

What does a tick do?

A tick waits for its chance in a bush, plan or in the tall grass. Then it crawls up or drops onto the skin of people and/or animals. His favorite places to land or crawl to are: groin, backs of knees, armpits, the backs of ears and hairlines. He buries his snout in the skin and starts sucking blood there.

What to do if you are bitten?

Remove the tick immediately, because the chance of infection with Lyme disease within 24 hours is still small. Twist the tick and carefully pull it loose with tick tongs or thin tweezers. If the tick is still attached to the skin, do not crush it and do not use alcohol. Make a note of the location and date of the bite somewhere in a book or on your phone, just to be safe and in case you experience any problems later. You should monitor your symptoms for a few months. The complaints vary from flu-like symptoms to a red ring around the bite. These may be signs of Lyme disease, which is a serious condition that affects nerves, brain, heart and joints.

What can you do about it?

When you go to the forest, wear a hat. If you are going to walk through the bushes, wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt and wear closed shoes. Check yourself, your child and the animals after you’ve been outside. You have to look for a small black dot.

Lose the lousy louse

What does the animal look like?

A louse is brown-gray in color, is approximately 2-3 mm in size and has set legs. The louse is ticklish, but not dangerous.

What does a louse do?

A louse crawls around from hair to hair. It bites the scalp or skin of animals six times a day and then drinks a sip of blood. The louse leaves saliva behind and this causes the itching that we experience on our heads. A louse does not like light, so it would rather be with someone with a full head of hair than with someone with a bald head. His favorite spots are behind your ears and on your neck. A louse therefore spreads from head to head, but can also move from coat to coat if they hang next to each other, such as at daycare or at school. A louse lays 6-10 eggs every day, we call these nits. A nit looks like a white ‘grain of rice’, approximately 1 mm in size. These grains are firmly attached to a hair. After about ten days a ‘nymph’ emerges and becomes an adult louse after four days. He leaves his empty house behind in his hair.

What to do if you are bitten?

The only thing that helps is combing, combing and more combing. With a metal nit comb and/or a plastic lice comb. Always put this comb in a cup of hot water to drown the lice and nits, but let the comb cool down before you continue combing. Do this for at least 2 weeks and twice a day. It helps to wash cuddly toys, bedding and clothes at 60 degrees or put them in a closed garbage bag for 48 hours.

What can you do about it?

Do not use someone else’s brush, cap or jacket. Get your child used to hanging his/her coat in its own (anti-)lice bag. Check the hair of the entire family regularly. If you are unsure whether you have lice, comb your hair over a sheet of white muscle so that you can clearly see the lice falling. Another tool whose effect has not really been proven is tea tree oil, put one drop of this in the hair per month and it can prevent you from getting nits/lice.