The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.

The threat of ticks - tick toc! | Outdoor Safety Advice

Posted by Tony Bithell on 7th May 2014

Do you love being outdoors? Do you spend a lot of your spare time enjoying the countryside, marveling the outstanding views and breathing in the fresh air? Perhaps you join your family and pets outside at the weekends, enjoying a picnic or maybe a kick about. Well, If you can relate to any of the above, then you, your family and indeed your pet dog may all be in danger from ticks! You may be a target from a reported growing threat to our health and well-being - that is the threat of the infamous and annoying 'Tick'!

"SOS Tick - I ain't afraid of no tick!" by Nemodus photos

Ticks are insects which can often be less than 3mm in length, yet very much enjoy feeding on mammals, birds and, it would appear, us humans too!

Recent studies have found that, over the last 20 years or so, there has been a considerable increase in the number of these insects found in our countryside. A recent survey carried out by MyPetonline, found that within one square metre of a recreation park, frequented by dog walkers and families, up to 300 of these insects were found to be present in grassland and undergrowth. Therefore, considering that an average picnic blanket measures 150cm x 120cm, there could potentially be up to 6,000 of these unwanted visitors present on the back of a blanket. That's a possible 6,000 ticks being taken back into your car and maybe even in to your home which later could be munching away on you, your family or even your pet dog! However dogs are not the only animals that can be attached by these insects. In fact, hungry ticks feed on animals such as grouse, pheasants, mice, voles, hares, squirrals, foxes, sheep, cattle, horses and dogs. However, it is suspected that the recent rise in numbers is due to the corresponding rise in the number of free roaming deer - they just love to feed on deer!

Perfect conditions for ticks

In order for these insects to breed, they need the right type of environment and weather. Mild, wet winters are perfect conditions for them to thrive and experts suggest that they are more prominent during late Spring, early Summer and during Autumn.

Antler Crinkler Dog ToyDog walkers are particularly vulnerable to attack from ticks, which much prefer woods, grasslands, bracken, heavy undergrowth and generally a humid environment. However, they are less frequently found in coniferous forests and in particular at altitudes over and above that of 650 meters.


There are many steps you can take to prevent being bitten by ticks. Listed below are just a few:

  1. Wear long clothes to cover up your skin - consider lightweight trousers rather than shorts and long sleeved t-shirts or baselayers, rather than short sleeved t-shirts
  2. Check your skin for ticks and tick bites after returning from a walk or a prolonged amount of time outdoors. Concentrate on your armpits, scalp, ankles or behind any creases in the skin
  3. Wear closed-up sandals rather than open sandals or even walking shoes, such as Grisport walking shoes
  4. Keep to paths and try to avoid long grasses
  5. Wear light coloured clothes, so that you can spot any ticks and brush them off immediately
  6. Use insect repellents:
    • for dogs - flea and tick collars, 'spot-on' treatments or 'chews'. (Consult your vet for a suitable insect repellent treatment)

Treatment and Control

If you do locate a tick on your skin or on your pet, it is important that the whole tick is removed! Consider using a tick remover or perhaps tweezers to remove the offending insect. You could alternatively tie a knot in a length of cotton and place the knot around the ticks head, pulling slowly and carefully, so the tick becomes loose and remains in one piece.

Antibiotics may be necessary to prevent any further infection or illness. It is advisable to visit your GP as soon as poosible (or your vet if your pet has been bitten) to inform them of the situation and seek advice. An untreated tick bite may develop into Lyme Disease which, if left untreated, can infect the heart, joints or even the nervous system! For further information on the symptoms of Lyme Disease please see the Lyme Disease Action website.


  • Use alcohol, chemicals or cream to remove the tick
  • Use your fingers to pull the tick out as you may leave part of the tick behind

Possible symptoms of Lyme Disease

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you really should consult your doctor immediately:

  • Rash around the bite area
  • Swollen glands near the bite area
  • Mild-to-severe headaches
  • Feeling lathargic or tired
  • Aching muscles and joints

These symptoms can present themselves from a few days up to several weeks after being bitten.

If dogs are bitten by ticks then they can develop 'Babesiosis', which is a malaria-like disease. If your dog becomes unwell, be cautious and seek your vets advice immediately.


Tick bites don't itch and irritate like other bites (e.g. mosquito bites), so you need to be vigilant and catch it early! If you suspect you have been bitten, make sure you visit your GP immediately!

That said, do continue to enjoy the fabulous outdoors! So, avoid the threat of ticks, take on board the tips above and - hopefully - you'll not need to have a visit to your GP or vets on your tick list!

Related post:
If you liked this blog, check out our suggested related posts:

  • Dog Walking Boots Buying Guide | Advice on What To Wear

    9th Apr 2019  B.Bithell

    Dog Walking Boots Buying Guide | Advice on What To Wear

    What to look for when buying a pair of dog walking boots Choosing the right pair of dog walking bo

    Read More
  • Hoggs of Fife Albany Tweed Collection - A Luxury Range!

    26th Jun 2018  Bethan Bithell

    Hoggs of Fife Albany Tweed Collection - A Luxury Range!

    Hoggs of Fife Albany Tweed Collection Quality tweed jackets and accessories for ladies can be diff

    Read More
  • Best shooting wellies for shooting and beating

    18th Jul 2017  Bethan Bithell

    Best shooting wellies for shooting and beating

    Best Shooting Wellies – The 2016 Review! Are you looking for the best shooting wellies available?

    Read More
  • 18th Jul 2017  

    Measuring Hand Size | Gloves Size and Buying Guide

    Choosing which glove to buy online can be difficult. What size do you buy? To find out the size

    Read More
  • 18th Jul 2017  

    A guide to fabrics | Cherry Tree Country Clothing antimicrobialCorduraDurable Water Repelle

    Read More
  • 22nd Apr 2017  Bethan Bithell

    5 Reasons why you should wax your leather walking boots

    Spending a bit of time waxing your leather walking boots and shoes will save you money and time in t

    Read More
  • 5th Apr 2017  Tony Bithell

    100% Cotton Shirts for Men That Will Not Disappoint!

    Sometimes, a 100% cotton shirt is all that you want to wear! It’s lightweight, it has a cool to touc

    Read More
  • 16th Feb 2017  Bethan Bithell

    How To Avoid Leaks In Your Dog Walking Boots

    There’s nothing worse than spending a lot of money on a decent pair of leather dog walking boots and

    Read More
  • 7th Feb 2017  Bethan Bithell

    Walking in the Mountains | A Beginner's Guide

    It is always important that you are well prepared when walking in the mountains . Whether you plan o

    Read More
  • 20th Jan 2017  Bethan Bithell

    Trouser Leg Length - Short, Regular, Long, Unfinished

    Do you struggle to find the right trouser leg length? This guide outlines the different styles of

    Read More
  • 26th Oct 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Our 10 Useful Tips on using a Hiking Staff

    A hiking staff is a long stick made from natural resources which is shaped or carved and used for a

    Read More
  • 1st Oct 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Outdoor Boots and Shoes - Think Hoggs of Fife

    Town or country, hiking or the workplace, we all need boots and shoes! At Cherry Tree Country Clothi

    Read More
  • 22nd Sep 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Hoggs of Fife Caledonia Tweed Cartridge Bag Review

    Keep your valuables and cartridges safe using a stylish Hoggs of Fife Caledonia tweed cartridge bag!

    Read More
  • 27th Aug 2016  Tony Bithell

    Waxed jackets - the pick of the best! Including useful tips

    Do you like wearing waxed jackets and looking for a new one ready for the Autumn? It’s always diffic

    Read More
  • 21st Aug 2016  Bethan Bithell

    The History of Waxed Cotton Country Clothing

    Customers often ask about the history of waxed country clothing. This seems to be an area of great i

    Read More
  • 28th Jul 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Shooting Jackets 2016 | Cherry Tree Country Clothing

    We all know that game shooting can be tough on your shooting clothing – and especially your shooting

    Read More
  • 24th Jun 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Benefits of Dog Walking | Cherry Tree Country Clothing

    The activity of dog walking brings with it many clear benefits for both you and your pets!With an in

    Read More
  • 2nd Jun 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Leaking walking boots? Get the best from your boots!

    Leaking walking boots and other common problems – and how to prevent them!Do you experience leaking

    Read More
  • 16th Mar 2016  Bethan Bithell

    What to wear when deer stalking | Handy Advice Guide

    Stalking is a term used to describe the hunting and shooting of deer. As well as stalking for meat,

    Read More
  • 11th Mar 2016  B.Bithell

    5 Essential Features of Comfortable Walking Boots

    No matter what your activity is, wearing comfortable walking boots, when out and about, is a must! &

    Read More