Helpful Tips On How To Avoid Ticks

Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images © Picture for Lyme Disease article

To mark Tick Bite Prevention Week (Mar 22-27), we revisit this helpful article from a health expert providing tips on how to avoid ticks.

We’ll soon be at that time of year when our British countryside is at its glorious best. These are the months to enjoy a summer ramble, which is a great prescription for health.

Unfortunately we are also into the peak season for ticks, which can spread several nasty infections, including Lyme disease. The condition is named after an area in Connecticut, USA, where doctors noticed an outbreak in the local community.

Prevention And Quick Treatment

Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause distressing health problems, including effects on your joints, heart and nervous system. That’s why prevention and quick treatment are so important.

The infection is caused by bacteria, and the ticks that carry it may be found in all parts of the UK.

They live in woodlands, grasslands and even parks and gardens. The ticks can’t jump or fly. They cling to leaves and long grasses, waiting for an animal or human to brush past so they can hitch a ride and enjoy a meal.

Once it has climbed aboard, the tick burrows its tiny head under your skin and begins feasting on your blood – and possibly giving you an infection. Fortunately, not all ticks carry Lyme disease. And removing the tick fast, so it has less time to share any germs, can greatly reduce your risk.

Keep Ticks At Bay

Good advice is to stick to paths when you are out walking. It’s also wise to wear long trousers and socks and an insect repellent containing DEET can help keep ticks at bay, too.

Avoid brushing against long vegetation, and give your clothing a good brush down after a walk. Check your skin, feeling with your hands for any bumps that might be ticks (they can be as small as a poppy seed).

When you’ve been walking the dog be sure to brush its coat before you go back in the house and routinely check your furry friend for ticks.

If you do have a tick bite, it might be several days before you notice any symptoms. Many people get a red rash (but not everyone does). The rash may spread out in a circle from the bite. Sometimes it looks like a bull’s-eye and it can get very big. Lyme disease can also cause flu-like symptoms.

Tick Removal Tool

If it’s possible you’ve had a tick bite and you get a rash or feel unwell, please see your GP without delay. A course of antibiotics is the main treatment.

You can learn more from NHS Choices at and on the Lyme Disease Action (LDA) website at

You can buy also buy special tick removal tool cheaply, from a veterinarian or the LDA.

However, being outdoors and walking is good for health, the benefits can be discovered here.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.