By Gill Stewart at
May is TICK awareness month and as avid walkers we like to stay on top of the latest research on Lyme Disease, the nasty disease carried by these pesky critters who lurk in the undergrowth waiting for you or your dog to brush past.
Ticks are attracted to the heat of the passing new ‘host’ and once they have hitched a lift, they will crawl (often unnoticed) into crevasses like the backs of knees and armpits where they will attach themselves in order to fill up with blood. Once gorged they will drop off and repeat the process with the next unsuspecting host but they risk they pose is that when they lock on to feed, they can transmit diseases and in particular the potentially serious Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease can have long lasting and serious consequences (read about the symptoms here) so we think prevention is the best policy when spending time outdoors
OUR TIPS are………...
TIP 1 – Know the areas where ticks are likely to lurk – research from Glasgow and Liverpool universities has recently shown that they are equally as happy in open habitat as they are in the Forested areas populated by Deer that they are typically thought to thrive in. Deer numbers are rising and ticks are increasingly common in Parks and Gardens all over the UK these days. Rugby player Matt Dawson is just one person who contracted Lyme Disease in a London Park.
This interactive tick map courtesy of MSD Animal Health will help you monitor where you live.
It’s not simply a problem for dogs which will be eliminated with the usual flea and tick treatments, it’s a very real threat to YOU too. Ticks can be tiny so you need to take steps to PREVENT them choosing you in the first place but also what to do if you do find one on you.
Here are our tips………..
TIP 2 – Cover up with long trousers and sleeves – you can get some brilliant lightweight breathable clothing that has inbuilt insect repellent from ROHAN (Remember to use your Membership card to save!)
TIP 3 – Use a high quality repellent spray. We have been testing the plant based ecological BOTANIC protect which does not contain nasty chemicals such as DEET like many of the more common brands. It smells utterly delicious so won’t make other humans avoid you as well as the ticks!
TIP 4 – Know what to look for. Always do a tick check when you get in from spending times outdoors and be thorough as they are often tiny and hard to spot (the one in the picture above is full!). It does not always hurt or itch if they bite you so one thing to look for is a bulls eye rash with a white ring around the red centre. Flu like symptoms are also common and obviously could be confused with Covid in these strange times. Basically if you feel unwell, tell your Doctor if you think you may have been bitten by a tick.
TIP 5 – Remove a tick immediately you spot one and always use a proper tick remover if you can as these are less likely to leave any part of the tick behind which helps avoid infection. The WALX tick card is a great tool to carry in your backpack or purse as it is no bigger than a credit card and yet has tick ‘hooks’ that are sized to fit all types and sizes of ticks.
Finally, don’t let ticks spoil your fun – if you follow our tips, the risk of a bit will be reduced but if you do get bitten and fell unwell, Lyme disease is treatable if caught early.
This month we’ve teamed up with BOTANIC PROTECT to offer YOU 10% off your first purchase of this eco friendly prevention product simply visit their website and enter the code WALX before the end on May
Our testers have all commented on how it is far nicer to use than the more chemical based alternatives due to its amazing smell and so far…..no ticks have been reported!