No sooner has all that snow melted from the hills than the ticks are back in force, warn the MCofS. Here's a film with advice on avoiding getting bitten, removing a tick, and the very unpleasant lyme disease that ticks can carry:
Heather Morning, the Mountain Safety Advisor with The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, is advising hill-goers to check themselves carefully after a day on the hill to ensure they haven’t picked up any unwanted guests.
“Last weekend we were climbing at Duntelchaig, near Loch Ness" she said.
"At home later, we noticed several ticks on our feet and since then have found several latched onto our bodies even though we had checked ourselves when we got home. The dog didn’t escape either; we have been removing ticks from her for several days now.”
Tiny arthropods related to everyone's favourites spiders and scorpions, ticks are common in vegetated places in all of the UK's upland areas. They are particularly suited to mild damp climates - which covers most of the country. They are a particular concern to walkers, climbers, campers and anyone who works in the outdoors. Aside from being a bit unpleasant ticks may carry diseases including Lyme disease, which can be extremely serious if not diagnosed early.
Heather recommends that hill walkers are vigilant and take some simple precautions such as tucking trousers into socks or wearing gaiters when on the hill. It’s also well worth taking a good look at yourself when you return home to spot the ticks before they latch on, she advises.
“From experience, they seem to appear even a few days later. If you find one attached to you, remove with a tick hook. If in doubt seek advice from your doctor.”