With spring finally here, the weather getting warmer, and more people heading outdoors, Wiltshire Council is advising residents to be ‘tick aware’ so they know what to do should they come into contact with the bugs.
Ticks are small spider-like creatures which feed on the blood of animals and people and are often found in dense vegetation or long grass, but can also be found in woodlands, grasslands, moorland and some urban parks and gardens. They can be found throughout the year, but are most active between spring and autumn.
Ticks don’t jump or fly, but wait on vegetation and climb on animals or people. They then bite to attach to the skin and start to feed on the blood. It can be several days before they drop off. They can transmit bacteria which can cause a potentially serious illness such as Lyme Disease. This can be treated effectively with antibiotics if caught in the early stages. Small tweezers or a tick removal tool can also be used to remove any ticks found on the body. Correct removal of ticks is key to reducing the potential risk of an infection being transmitted.
Maggie Rae, Wiltshire Council corporate director, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the great outdoors particularly as Wiltshire is such a beautiful county. However, we want people to be aware of what they should do should if they are bitten by a tick. The earlier you can treat it, the better.”
Keith Humphries, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, said: “ Left untreated, a bite from a tick can cause serious illness so we hope by raising a little awareness people will know the warning signs to look out for and act quickly should they need to.”