It is that time of year again with the lengthening evenings and warmer weather when we are tempted to don our shorts and go for a good walk in the forest.

Although ticks can be active all year round in long grass, bracken, heather, woodland and hedgerows especially where deer and livestock are present they are more prevalent during the summer months.

Ticks can carry organisms which may cause physical and neurological illness in humans and animals.

It is sensible to take precautions and be aware of what action to take in the event of being bitten.

Prevention

  • Wear long trousers or gaiters tucked into socks
  • Use insect repellent
  • Check yourself for ticks regularly

Removal

  • Wear surgical gloves
  • Use a tick-removal tool or fine nosed tweezers
  • Disinfect the tick bite
  • Wash your hands afterwards
  • Make a note of the date and place of the bite
  • Contact your GP if you notice a rash or flu-like symptoms

What NOT to use when removing ticks

  • Creams/ petroleum jelly/ oils/ spirits/ freezing agent/ powders/ or other substances
  • Cigarettes/ matches/ lighter
  • Anything that squeezes the body of the tick

(all these methods may cause regurgitation/ back-flow of infective fluids)

Further information is available from Public Health England: www.gov.uk/phe