We love the outdoors but unfortunately it does sometimes come with some nasty critters. We’re pretty lucky in the UK with our wildlife, there isn’t much about that can do you any damage. But there is one insect that sometimes can – the tick.
Most ticks are harmless, but some do carry Lyme disease, for which there is no vaccine. They tend to be found in grassy or wooded areas so make sure you protect yourself if you’re in woodland, the countryside or parks.
The best way of preventing Lyme Disease is to avoid being bitten. Here’s some tips to help:
- Keep to footpaths and avoid long grass when out walking
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt
- Tuck your trousers into your socks
- Use insect repellent – products containing DEET are best
- Wear light coloured clothes so ticks are easier to spot
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
The earliest and most common symptom is a red or pink circular rash that develops around the area of the bite. The rash can take some time to show but is normally visible within the first four weeks of being bitten.
Not everyone gets the rash, others suffer from flu like symptoms in the early stages.
How to remove a tick?
- Use fine tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool
- Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible
- Slowly pull upwards, taking care not to crush the tick. Dispose of the tick once removed
- Clean the bite with antiseptic
The risk of getting ill is low, but if you do start to feel unwell make sure to contact your GP. Read further information and recommendations from the NHS on their website.