Ticks are related to spiders, and are usually picked up from walking in infected areas outdoors, particularly if there is long grass and vegetation. Undeveloped ticks are about the size of a poppy seed, while an adult tick will grow to the size of a tiny spider.
When are ticks most active in the UK?
Ticks are active throughout the year in the UK, however they are most active between the months of May and October.
Do ticks fly?
No, ticks cannot jump or fly, but are transferred when a person or animal brushes past, then they use their hooked front legs to catch onto them, in a behaviour known as ‘questing’.
Do ticks bite?
Yes, ticks attach themselves to the host by biting the skin and then they start to feed on the blood of the host.
How do I remove a tick if I find one?
- Ideally use a ‘tick removal tool’ or if not available then use fine/pointed tweezers to get hold of the tick as close to the skin as possible (both humans and animals).
- Pull upwards, away from the host with steady even pressure. Do not twist or pull sharply as this can cause tiny mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers, if you are unable to do so with clean tweezers then leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
- Dispose of the live tick by submerging it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
- Contact your GP if you start feeling unwell and tell them that you have been bitten by a tick. This is to ensure you don’t get an insect borne disease called Lyme Disease.