Most ticks are little more than an irritation, but a few can transmit Lyme disease, a rare and potentially serious illness which is treatable with antibiotics if diagnosed early. It is therefore important to be informed and take some simple precautions.
What are ticks?
- Ticks are tiny, spider-like creatures which feed on the blood of animals.
- They are found in grassy, heathland and woodland areas throughout the UK.
- They are most common from April to October but can be active during mild winters.
What can I do to prevent being bitten by a tick?
- Avoid exposed skin: wear long trousers tucked into socks, and long sleeves.
- Avoid long and overhanging vegetation and keep to footpaths.
- Consider using insect repellent.
- Check your skin and clothing while you are out in the field and again when you return home: ticks bites don’t usually hurt so it is important to check your skin thoroughly.
What should I do if I am bitten by a tick?
- Ticks should be removed carefully and promptly using a tick remover or tweezers.
- Don’t squeeze the tick, and don’t cover it with creams or plasters.
- If you develop a rash around a bite or flu-like symptoms, or if you are concerned in anyway, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
For more information, see the NHS page on the subject