Ultra-high ‘itch count’ forecast as last-minute post-lockdown staycations get underway


07 September 2020
With quarantine risks abroad, a getaway boom is expected in the UK before the Autumn. Experts are warning holidaymakers to be on the lookout for fleas and ticks whilst they're holidaying in the UK.

With countries being added to the Government's quarantine list, a predicted staycation boom set to bring £27 billion to the economy will be welcome news for hopeful businesses and hotel owners across the UK.

And although the tourists will be good news for some, an influx of our furry friends joining us on our staycations could also be bringing a less desirable boom along with us, according to experts.

Coinciding with a rush to get away at the end of the holiday season, an ultra-high ‘itch-count’ has been forecast across the UK, with the heat of the summer and holidaymakers descending en-masse creating ideal conditions for fleas, ticks and worms.

Our furry friends will be enjoying the outdoors more than normal, and with owners working from home over lockdown, leading pet care brand Bob Martin is warning holiday-makers to exercise caution as pesky parasites could be hitchhiking with us on our trips, potentially ruining our long-anticipated holiday plans.

Research from Bob Martin has also identified a tenfold spike in demand for people looking to purchase a companion animal across the UK whilst in lockdown; with online search volumes for cat and dog adoptions and purchases at all-time highs.

Aurelie Gayraud, Senior Brand Manager at Bob Martin, says the UK’s increase in potentially inexperienced pet owners, combined with an influx of tourists to staycations with pets, will result in a perfect storm for fleas and ticks coming into contact with us and our furry friends.

Aurelie comments: “As we’re all keen to plan our getaway and make the most of the Great British summer, an influx of holidaymakers could also be bringing some less desirable tourists along with us. We’re all aware of the high UV and pollen levels we might experience on our summer holidays, but we really want to educate people about high ‘itch-counts’, concentrations of flea and tick infestations, and how these can be just as unpleasant and dangerous as UV damage and hay fever.

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“We’ve seen some really unusual weather patterns across the UK in recent months, which have proved ideal breeding grounds for fleas and ticks. When you twin this with the fact female fleas can lay up to fifty eggs a day and with thousands of potentially first-time owners purchasing or adopting a pet in lockdown, we could be facing one of the worst flea and tick seasons for years if we don’t prepare.

“Regardless of experience, it’s really important for all pet owners to keep on top of preventative and curative solutions to avoid falling fall of the UK’s ‘itch count’, and to ensure they’re aware of the risks associated with flea, tick and worm infestations.

“Tick bites can cause Lyme’s Disease in humans, a potentially life-threatening infection. As well as being itchy and painful, fleas can carry diseases and are the main transmitter of worms. This is because adult fleas can carry tapeworm eggs and can infest your pet, as they can grow rapidly in their intestine, if they swallow an infested flea.

“As you would prepare for sun exposure by topping up on sun-cream, you should also take steps to avoid fleas and ticks, but consistency is key. Your furry friends should be treated with a flea and tick prevention product to keep you and them safe from unwanted parasites whilst on your travels. But you should also treat your home to avoid any infestations as 95% of fleas are in the home.”

She concludes: “With lockdown easing, we want everyone to get out and enjoy the beautiful British countryside as much as possible, and especially with their furry friends in tow, but we also want to ensure people can enjoy the outdoors safely.”

For more information on Bob Martin as well as tips and advice on managing fleas, ticks and worms, please visit www.bobmartin.co.uk