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Help tick researchers in Turku!

July 13, 2015

It is tick season and believe me, it is in high swing in southern Finland!

In just the past few years the amount of ticks has exploded in my part of Espoo. A couple of years ago I picked up three ticks in three weeks just by going out mushroom picking, leading to far more vigilance than before on my part. A friend of mine is a researcher at the University of Jyväskylä and she told me I could send her samples when I had them, so I did. She confirmed that one of the ticks I sent her was carrying borreliosis – or Lyme disease.

Ticks scare the crap out of me and no one can convince me otherwise – I absolutely loathe them.

We got a dog a couple of months ago and believe me, I have become an expert in extracting ticks off the poor guy. It took all of three days before he picked up his first one! It has become almost a daily routine – holding him down and pulling ticks off him… Having been in the Turku Archipelago for holidays recently, I can say our poor dog saw the tweezers on a daily basis!


The latest version of Vene lehti, the magazine for boating enthusiasts in Finland, had a call out to its readers to send ticks to the University of Turku for research purposes. The Puutiaiset team has received more than 4800 samples so far this year! Their home pages are here, but the information is only in Finnish. If you’re in Finland and want to send a sample to them, tell them the following:

  • the day you found it
  • was it on a person or an animal (if on an animal, what kind)
  • the city/town you found it and the suburb

Be sure to provide your contact information (e-mail or a phone number) and send the tick (wrapped in tin foil for example) to:

20014 Turun Yliopisto

Learning more about ticks and the diseases they carry will benefit us all, so be sure to help out if you can!



8 Comments leave one →
  1. anonymous permalink
    July 13, 2015 12:20 pm

    You need to get tick spray (or whatever it is called) and treat your dog’s fur with it. The ticks die (before having their meal, I think) and you can simply brush them off. Once you let the stuff dry/sink in properly I think you can even let the dog go swimming (multiple times) and it stays on.

    • July 13, 2015 12:41 pm

      I’ve heard some of those sprays or drops are really toxic. My dog is just a puppy, I give him pills and he has a tick collar on though…

      • anonymous permalink
        July 13, 2015 4:48 pm

        Obviously they have to include some insecticide, but maybe you could ask about that at your local petstore.
        After a quick search, I saw this Symppis Spot-On solution that you drop on the dog’s skin at the neck which uses the same active substance included in their tick collars. For what it’s worth, they seem to be approved by Tukes.
        A spray seems to work only for a couple of hours, so I can see how you could end up dosing your dog using something like that a lot – the animal breathing it in often, etc.

      • July 14, 2015 5:37 am

        Was talking to a fellow dog owner yesterday and she got a prescription from the vet. Thinking about going that route. But hey, thanks for the info – I’m such a greenhorn!

  2. July 13, 2015 3:35 pm

    I am so thankful to have never had a tick on me. *knock on wood* *shudder* But I will definitely keep this in mind when we get home from mushroom picking this year.

  3. Sonia permalink
    July 15, 2015 1:05 am

    I check my cat and he gets Frontline drops. It’s toxic to the nervous system, but it works quite well (sometimes not) and he is doing well. I try not to apply it more than 4 times each summer season. Usually 5-6 weeks were fine, then the beasts are back. Mind you, in milder years, till November!

    I have not had knowingly any tick on me, but several time strange diseases possibly liked to borreliosis. Fact is that Finnish medical knowledge and tests are very poor in this topic. There were several stories about people who got proper diagnosis and help from Germany, but Finland disregards that, because nothing is as good as arvauskeskus own expertise. They also refuse refunds, even if the matter is only a blood test. Here people get antibiotics and that is it. An expert even claimed that borreliosis does not exist.

    Why do they now research on their own instead of cooperating with other European countries who have more experience in this area, because the problem there is far worse, e.g. Austria?!

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