Preventing Tick Bites
There are some very simple steps you can take to minimise the risk of getting bitten by a tick. In the States the deer tick is known to carry Lyme disease whereas in Europe Lyme is commonly associated with the sheep or castor bean tick (ixodes ricinus). Ticks can target any bird or animal ranging from mice, ground feeding birds, hedgehogs, farm animals, pets, deer & humans. Vigilance is needed in wooded or tall grassy areas where ticks may reside.
- Wear long sleeved t-shirts and trousers when out.
- Tuck your trousers into socks or boots and tuck shirts into trousers to minimise the chance of ticks getting to exposed skin.
- Wear light coloured clothing to make any attached ticks easier to spot.
- Check yourself and children every couple of hours for attached ticks.
- Apply insect repellant with 20%-30% DEET to any exposed skin.
- Can also apply Permethrin to clothing (do not apply directly to skin) which can be bought in camping or hunting shops.
- Avoid wooded areas with tall grass and try to stay in the centre of trails to avoid tree branches, leaves and long grass where ticks usually lie in wait for an unsuspecting victim to brush past.
- Once home check your entire body for ticks. Important areas to check are behind the ears, inside the outer ear, under the arms, behind knees, the trunk of the body and the scalp.
- If you find any ticks remove them. For information on removing a tick safely see our Safe Tick Removal page. The most effective way of removing a tick is the Tick Twister. For more information on Tick Twisters click here.
For tips on reducing the number of ticks in your garden or immediate vicinity see veterinarian Lawrence Swift's suggestions here.