Ticks are tiny, parasitic, animals. They grow up to only 3mm in length and vary much in their colour. They have eight legs and a flattened body (until it fills with blood but we don’t let them get to that stage!). I think they’re fascinating but most folk aren’t so keen on them!
There are many different kinds of ticks but the ones we need to keep an eye on are the ones that parasitise deer, for they also go for us humans. Some people seem much more likely to pick up tick bites than others, for reasons as yet not fully understood.
It is important to check for ticks on you both when out on the nature reserve and also when you get home. If you find you have been bitten by a tick remove it straight away.
Remove ticks with fine-pointed tweezers or a tick removal tool. Do not squash, burn or whisky-soak the tick. Problems of disease arise when the saliva of the tick is transmitted into your blood stream, which all of the above can do.
To minimise the risk of getting a tick bite in the first place, get covered up and tuck your trousers into your socks.
Highland Council have produced a handy leaflet which can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/14961/tick_leaflet.