Ticks can be a menace for smaller animals, as Dave Hetherington found.
Ticks can be a menace for smaller animals, as Dave Hetherington found. Craig Warhurst

It's a ticking time bomb

MARY Street jeweller David Hetherington had two visitors over the weekend; one of them welcome and the other probably not welcome anywhere.

The welcome guest was a magpie which just about lives at the Hetherington's Rocks Rd home at Southside, always assured of a welcome and maybe some tucker from David's wife, Kath Hetherington.

"They (the magpie and a similar flying companion) just about live there," he told The Gympie Times this week.

The less welcome visitor was one of the most despised blood sucking parasites ever to be hated by humans the world over.

The Rocks Rd magpie came with an extra attachment in the form of a large, very bloated and alien-looking monster - a tick nearly 1cm long.

"It was under his chin when he flew in, about 8am.

"Kath held some tucker in front of him and I sneaked up behind and grabbed him.

"I keep a pair of V-nipped tweezers, which we have for the purpose (of removing ticks).

"We pull them off our dog all the time," he said.

Authorities are blaming our warm, moist winter for a surge in tick bites, including the one which recently put a Gympie father and a teenager in hospital and which almost cost a Mary St solicitor his life.

Solicitor Ripley Perkins, 41, was on the brink of organ shutdown when he was ultimately diagnosed with rickettsia, a tick transmitted bacterial disease, also known as Queensland tick typhus or tick bite fever.

Gympie Times


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