RESIDENTS in Castellon are being overrun by a nasty plague of ticks.
While mosquitos – particularly the tiger variety – and cockroaches are the most dreaded summer pests on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, this year it is garrapatas, or ticks, that are causing the most problems in Vilanova d’Alcolea.
Authorities are warning residents to be vigilant for the biting insects which can cause spread disease in humans.
Garrapatas, as they are known in Spanish, are blood sucking insects that are usually found on dogs but do pose a threat to humans.
They can cause the potentially fatal Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and Lyme disease.
Experts in Vilanova, home of Castellon airport, are advising residents to visit the local health centre if they find a tick attached to them, and not to attempt to pick it off themselves.
The healthcare staff will remove the insect safely and prescribe any medication if needed.
According to the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU), ticks are mostly found in green areas and in fields outside of town, so dog walkers are advised to apply anti-mite treatments to their pets to prevent the insect from lodging with the animal and then jumping to its owners.
In addition, OCU recommends wearing long trousers and sleeves when walking through the countryside, refraining from sitting on patches of grass if just wearing shorts, and avoiding walking through overgrown patches where possible.
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