Ticks and Lyme Disease

As there is a small herd of Roe Deer at Silverglades (and probably visiting Red Deer) there will be ticks which you may, if unlucky, pick up. It is therefore important to check for ticks on your body before departing, and to be aware that, if missed, you may need to remove a tick in the days after a visit. Some ticks carry Lyme disease and it is important to recognise the symptoms of an infected tick bite

Ticks carrying disease are found across the UK in both town and countryside, noy just Silverglades!

Not all ticks are infected – infection rate in any place in the UK varies from zero to about 15%

Ticks can be very small and can go unnoticed

Most active March to October, but they can be active on mild winter days

You will not feel the tick attach to you, so check your skin

To download a leaflet explaining how remove a tick safely, without squashing it, click here

For more advice on ticks and Lyme disease, click here

Removing a tick

Your main aims are to remove the tick promptly, to remove all parts of the tick’s body and to prevent it releasing additional saliva or regurgitating its stomach contents into your bite wound.

DO use a proprietary tick removal tool* (available from this website or many vets and pet shops), and follow the instructions provided. Two common types of removal tool available are illustrated on this page; the hook and the loop are designed to be twisted to facilitate removal.
These tools will grip the head of the tick without squashing the body.

* Alternative Methods : With pointed tweezers (not blunt eyebrow tweezers!) grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible; without squeezing the tick’s body, pull the tick out without twisting (it is difficult to twist tweezers without separating the tick’s head from its body) – there may be considerable resistance.

Illustrations are for general guidance and do not represent any particular species.

If no tools are available, rather than delay use a fine thread, something like cotton or dental flossTie a single loop of thread around the tick’s mouthparts, as close to the skin as possible, then pull upwards and outwards without twisting.

DO start by cleansing the tweezers/tool with antiseptic. After tick removal, cleanse the bite site and the tool with antiseptic.

DO wash hands thoroughly afterwards.

DO save the tick in a container in case a doctor asks for evidence that you have been bitten (label it with date and location). Public Health England is also currently running a scheme to investigate ticks – see below.

DO NOT squeeze the body of the tick, as this may cause the head and body to separate, leaving the head embedded in your skin.

DO NOT use your fingernails to remove a tick. Infection can enter via any breaks in your skin, e.g. close to the fingernail.

DO NOT crush the tick’s body, as this may cause it to regurgitate its infected stomach contents into the bite wound. See this graphic animation of what can happen, courtesy of the Lyme Borreliosis Foundation, Hungary.

DO NOT try to burn the tick off, apply petroleum jelly, nail polish or any other chemical. Any of these methods can cause discomfort to the tick, resulting in regurgitation, or saliva release.

After you have removed your tick, kill it by crushing it and flushing it down the toilet, or by folding it in a strip of sticky tape and placing it in the waste. Be aware that engorged ticks will contain potentially infected blood, which may splatter when crushed. Do not crush the tick with your fingers and do not allow the crushed tick or the blood it carried to contact your skin.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium

It can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick.

It has a clinical diagnosis.

It cannot be confidently ruled out by any current test.

It can be difficult to diagnose

Lyme disease symptoms overlap with those of many other diseases.

Early symptoms may include headache, fatigue, fever, facial palsy and a skin rash called erythema migrans.

It may spread to affect the whole body including eyes, joints, heart and brain.

If inadequately treated or treated late, it may be difficult to cure.

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.

Lyme disease-carrying ticks can be found throughout the UK in urban parks and gardens as well as in the countryside.

 

Symptoms of Lyme Disease may include:

Feeling unwell

Flu-like symptom

Extreme fatigue

Muscle/Joint pain

Muscle weakness

Upset digestive system

Headache

Disturbances of the nervous system

Poor sleep

Sometimes a ‘Bull’s eye’ rash