Walkers and climbers in Galloway are being urged to take precautions against ticks when out and about.
Ticks are small arthropods (related to spiders and scorpions) and are common in vegetated areas in the Scottish hills which can latch on to humans and pets and transfer disease. They are particularly suited to mild damp climates and therefore thrive on the west coast hill and mountain regions of Scotland. Aside from being a nuisance, ticks carry diseases including Lyme Disease which can be extremely serious if not diagnosed early.
Worryingly, after the mild winter of 2014, the wee beasties seem to be out in force. You can 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. They can appear even a few days after you’ve been out so if you find one attached to you, remove itwith a tick hook. If in doubt seek advice from your doctor.
If you’ve never had a tick, check out a six-minute video clip to see what they look like and how to safely remove them: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/hillwalking-essentials-video.asp