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We are working hard to make our forests safe again after recent storms. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

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

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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