Story submitted by Eric Worrall
At least one Australian is not unhappy at the country’s recent hot spell. The following is a picture of something I pulled off a private part of my anatomy earlier this year.
Yes, it’s a paralysis tick, Ixodes Holocyclus
But I haven’t been bitten since, despite living in the Australian bush. Why? Because the recent hot spell has killed most of the ticks.
Ticks can’t survive long dry spells which are hotter than 32c:
Humid conditions are essential for survival of the paralysis tick. Dry conditions, relatively high (32°C) and low (7°C) temperatures will kill all stages after a few days. An ambient temperature of 27°C and high relative humidity is thought to be optimal for rapid development (Clunies-Ross, 1935).
The recent week or so of dry 40°C+ temperatures in Australia has disrupted their breeding cycle.
An added benefit, apart from the yuck factor, is the reduced risk this year, of myself and my fellow Australians catching one of the awful diseases associated with tick bites, such as Queensland Tick Typhus.
Global warming? Bring it on.