Brit holidaymakers heading to Spain urged to cover skin from blood-sucking ticks as pests ‘rapidly multiply’

Brits holidaying in Spain are being warned of a sharp rise in tick infestations as the heatwave pushes temperatures to well over 40C.

All residents and visitors are advised to take extreme precautions against the blood-sucking pests during warm weather.

People in Spain should cover up to protect themselves from tick bites, experts warn


People in Spain should cover up to protect themselves from tick bites, experts warnCredit: Alamy

The National Association of Environmental Health Companies (ANECPLA) said that arachnid populations will “increase exponentially” in certain areas across the country.

“Ticks are becoming one of the most dangerous pests on Spanish territory,” said a spokesman.

The summer spell will affect a large part of the peninsula this week, speeding up the biological cycle of ticks and making them multiply faster, they added.

The insects can transmit potentially deadly diseases such as Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), Lyme disease and encephalitis, which can lead to fatal meningitis.

Jorge Galván, Director General of ANECPLA, said: “Climate change, with its progressive rise in temperature, is not only prolonging the reproductive season of these arthropods – spring starts earlier each time and autumn ends later each time – but it also speeds up their metabolism.” reproduced more frequently over a longer period of time.

According to ANECPLA, there are six species of ticks in Spain, two of which are of particular concern: Hyalomma and Ixodes.

Both slowly suck the blood of their victims over several days while simultaneously returning saliva to the host.

Mr Galván said the former is the main transmission vector of CCHF, while the latter is implicated in the spread of various pathogens, including encephalitis and the bacterium Borrelia, which causes Lyme disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 40 percent of those infected die from CCHF, which causes eye bleeding.

It typically begins with flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, and sensitivity to light, but can lead to organ failure and internal bleeding.

Lyme disease, which is characterized by a “bull’s eye” rash, is usually easily treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early, but some people experience quite severe symptoms.

If left untreated, it can also affect other areas of the body, including the central nervous system and heart.

This can cause heart palpitations, fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain, and lightheadedness.

Lyme disease cases have doubled in Europe over the past 20 years.

In February, experts estimated the number at around 1,000 infections. The current number could be higher as temperatures climb to the mid-40s.

ANECPLA advises people in Spain to take precautions, especially when visiting the countryside, city parks, gardens and beaches.

Ticks are usually found in tall grass in natural settings such as fields, parks, and shorelines, waiting for an animal or human host to feed.

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ANECPLA said the best way to avoid tick bites and resulting health complications is to:

  • Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be easily spotted
  • Cover up as much as possible – wear long pants that tuck into socks, long sleeves, a hat, and an undershirt
  • Make sure pets are given antiparasitic treatment
  • Use an appropriate repellent
  • Walk through the middle of the paths, avoiding the edges where tall grass is usually found
  • Avoid touching cattle and/or wild animals
  • Check people and pets several times during and at the end of the walk for the presence of ticks (pay particular attention to parts of the body that have thinner skin and normally have more blood supply, such as groin, armpits, head, back of ears, elbows, knees etc.)

This is how you avoid tick bites and remove a tick safely

There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of a tick bite.

First, when walking outdoors, try to cover as much skin as possible and tuck your pants into your socks.

You should also apply insect repellent containing DEET to your clothing and skin, and wear light-colored clothing so you can easily spot a tick.

When you go for a walk, stay on paths as much as possible.

But if you get bitten, you need to safely remove a tick.

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool. You can buy these at some pharmacies, veterinarians, and pet stores.
  2. Hold the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  3. Slowly pull the tick up, being careful not to pinch or pinch the tick. Discard it once removed.
  4. Clean the bite with an antiseptic or soap and water.

The probability of getting sick is low. You don’t need to take any further action unless you notice a rash or feel unwell.

If any of these cases occur, be sure to see a GP so you can get treatment as soon as possible.

Source: NHS

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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