Particularly during the summer months, there are a lot of ticks around in the countryside. Also adders are present in Bradgate Park. Please take sensible precautions.
When in long grass, bracken, woodland, marshy or brushy areas or elsewhere in the countryside, take sensible precautions to reduce the risk of being bitten by ticks:
- Keep your skin covered. Wear long trousers not shorts or a skirt and tuck your trouser bottoms into your socks. Wear a long-sleeved shirt with sleeves rolled down and cuffs fastened. Tuck your shirt into your trousers. Wear shoes or boots, not open sandals.
- Inspect skin and clothing and that of children for ticks after each visit to the countryside. Ticks often do not attach themselves to the skin for several hours and usually, even if infected, do not pass on any bacteria unless they have been on the host for more than 36 hours.
- Remove ticks as soon as you can.
- Insect repellents sprayed onto your clothing (or limbs where it is not practicable to cover up) may be useful.
- Check your pets regularly for ticks. Insect repellent sprays or collars may help.
- Walk in the middle of paths and trails. Do not follow animal tracks.
- Brush off clothing before entering the house.
Don’t panic but remove the tick as soon as possible. Don’t rush. If you pull the tick’s body you may crush it.
One of the best ways to remove a tick is to grasp the tick firmly, as close to the skin as possible, using tweezers or your finger nails and then pull it out slowly and gently with a twisting motion. Remember most tick bites do not produce an infection.
Another method is to tie a single loop of cotton around the tick (in a half reef knot) as close to the skin as possible and then pull it away gently. Avoid squeezing or bursting the tick. Clean the wound with antiseptic.
If there is any secondary infection noticeable in a few days, do see your Doctor.
Ticks are tiny insect-like creatures found on vegetation and animals in grassy, woodland, heath and moorland areas. They attach themselves to passing animals and people and feed by biting through the skin and sucking blood.
Ticks (at larva, nymph and adult stage) feed on most animals including sheep, cattle, deer, dogs, vermin and birds. If a tick is infected with Lyme disease, it can transmit the bacteria to another animal. Man can act as a host for a tick and therefore become infected.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease normally start between a few days and a month or so after being bitten by an infected tick. The first sign is often a red blotch around the site of the bite. It does not itch. This rash can spread to form a large circle.
Flu-like symptoms may occur either before the skin rash or about the same time. Headache and chills, tiredness and joint aches may last several weeks without treatment. Fever is more common in children.
If you have been bitten:
Check for redness around the site of the bite
If any of the symptoms described here develop in the days or weeks following the bite, then SEE YOUR DOCTOR STRAIGHT AWAY.
Early treatment of the disease with antibiotics is effective against short-term symptoms and may prevent or lessen the seriousness of any long-term complications. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.
Remember, simple common sense measures can further reduce the chance of becoming infected. Don’t let the very small risk of Lyme disease spoil your enjoyment of areas where ticks may be found. Lyme disease is a rare illness in humans. It is more prevalent in Europe and the United Kingdom remains a low risk country.
Presence of ticks and the small risk that they may carry disease is a situation that exists in appropriate locations across Britain. Only a very small percentage of bits from ticks will transmit the bacteria.
Charnwood Borough Council Environmental Health Department, have been consulted in the preparation of this information, which is issued only as a guide. If in any doubt, or you require detailed information, then consult a Doctor.
Adders are the only venomous snake that is native to the British Isles. They are very rare and not aggressive but may bite if startled or touched. Adders may be found anywhere but usually bask on banks, stone walls and open ground. If you see one, leave it alone.
If a person or pet is bitten, immediate medical or veterinary attention should be sought.