Ticks and Lyme disease again 2019
It was great to see a program on BBC Scotland on ticks and Lyme disease it’s still amazing how many folk are still unaware of the dangers. I have been walking since the 60’s and was not aware of the dangers until about 15 years ago. I used to find them on my dog a lot but never remember much about them on me. Yet when I was in Ardgour a few weeks ago I found about 10 on me in 3 days. I do not wear shorts on the hills now and take all the precautions. It’s well worth watching the BBC on the “Disclosure program” on ticks and Lyme disease on catch up. There is now lots of information about especially on the internet and the excellent Mountaineering Scotland website. Please have a look and make others especially new to the wild places of the dangers.
Mountain safety experts are already advising walkers and climbers: “Tick the Munros – just don’t let the Munros tick you!”
Those perennial pests of the Scottish hills and countryside are back.And w hile the physical and mental health benefits of hill walking are well known, walkers should still be aware of an almost invisible danger.
Ticks are small arthropods (related to spiders and scorpions) and are common in vegetated areas in the Scottish hills. They are particularly suited to mild damp climates and therefore thrive on the west coast mountain regions of Scotland. Aside from being a nuisance, ticks carry diseases, including Lyme disease which can be extremely serious if not diagnosed early.
Heather Morning the Mountain Safety Adviser with The Mountaineering Council of Scotland is advising hill-goers to check themselves carefully after a day on the hill to ensure they haven’t picked up any unwanted guests.
For even after the cold and snowy spring time of 2016, the wee beasties seem to be out in force. Heather said: “Last weekend we were climbing at Duntelchaig, near Loch Ness. At home later, we noticed several ticks on our feet and since then have found several latched onto our bodies even though we had checked ourselves when we got home. The dog didn’t escape either; we have been removing ticks from her for several days now.”
Heather recommends that hill walkers are vigilant and 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. She said: “From experience, they seem to appear even a few days later. If you find one attached to you, remove with a tick hook. If in doubt seek advice from your doctor.”
If you’ve never had a tick, check out this six- minute video clip to see what they look like and how to safely remove them: hillwalking-essentials-video.asp