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This page provides some helpful information on how to identify ticks and how to remove them quickly and safely.

'Check for ticks is easy' text on a green background

Illustration of a finger nail with ticks of various ages on it © Health Protection Scotland

What are ticks?

Ticks are small spider-like creatures that live in the countryside. They can be found in woodland, moorland, grassland and parks. Young ticks can be as small as a poppy seed, whilst older ticks look like a tiny spider.

As part of their life cycle, ticks feed on other animals – usually deer and sheep. Occasionally they feed on us too! Ticks are most active between March and October.

(Image © Health Protection Scotland)

Why can ticks be a problem?

Ticks can sometimes pass on disease to humans, including Lyme disease. Not all ticks carry disease. Removing ticks quickly and safely greatly reduces any risk of illness.

What should I do?

Keep enjoying the outdoors! Just carefully check for ticks after a visit to the countryside.

Stick figure showing body areas where ticks can be hidden

What do I do if I find a tick on me?

  • Don't panic!
  • Remove the tick as soon as possible
  • The safest way to remove a tick is to use a tick removal tool, which can be bought in most outdoor shops and chemists

Keep an eye on the bite site. If a large red rash develops, or if you feel unwell, tell your doctor you've been bitten by a tick. (Note: A small, itchy spot is a normal reaction to a tick bite).

Anything else I can do?

You're less likely to pick up a tick if you:

  • Keep to clearly defined paths
  • Avoid dense vegetation
  • Use insect repellent

Find out more

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