Tick advice

This post was last updated on

Tick, tick, tick, tick, BOOM!  It’s great when spring is here and the weather is warming up.  It makes sett surveying and monitoring a much more enjoyable activity, but the downside is that it’s also tick season.  However, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from tick bites.  Check out our tick advice below.

What are ticks?  Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods and areas with long grass. They’re found all over the UK. Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them. Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.

UK ticks. There are over twenty different species of tick found in the UK, some are highly specialised and only live in specific habitats or feed on specific animals. The most likely species to bite humans is the Sheep tick Ixodes ricinus, however, bites from the Hedgehog tick (Ixodes hexagonus) are also reported.

What is Lyme Disease? According to Lyme Disease UK, Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia, a spirochete bacteria. It’s the most common tick-borne infectious disease in the northern hemisphere and there are multiple strains of the bacteria.

Lyme disease is endemic in many parts of the United Kingdom, particularly in woodland or heath-land areas but disease-carrying ticks can also be found in cities and gardens.

How can I avoid getting bitten by a tick?  Use insect repellent, cover up as much as possible, and light coloured clothing will enable you to see ticks more easily.

What should I do if I get bitten by a tick?  If you get bitten by a tick, remove it as soon as you can with tweezers or a tick remover.

Although most tick bites won’t cause any problems, ticks can carry Lyme disease.  If you start to feel unwell, speak to your GP.  Further advice is available here.

Public Health England has a tick advice sheet available for download.