August 21, 2017
Please be ‘tick aware’ whenever you are in the countryside.
Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures found in moist areas of dense vegetation or long grass in woodland, grassland, moorland, heathland and some urban parks and gardens. They can be found throughout the year, but are most active between spring and autumn. They feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans.
Some ticks carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, an infection that can spread to humans if bitten by infected ticks.
It is possible to reduce the risk of tick bites by following some simple advice:
- When possible, stick to footpaths and avoid long grass when walking or cycling
- Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers tucked into your socks when near tick-infested areas
- Wearing light-coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes
- Use insect repellent on any exposed skin
- Check your skin and clothes for ticks at the end of the day, removing any you find as soon as possible
- Regularly check your pets for ticks
If Lyme disease is left untreated, you could develop severe symptoms. Lyme disease is treatable if caught early, so it’s important to know the symptoms and look out for them.
Read full NHS advice on ticks and Lyme disease.