Take part in Tick Watch!

Tick Watch Logo

Tick Alert wants you to become a ‘tick spotter’ and take part in ‘Tick Watch 2008’, the first-ever public survey about ticks here and abroad.

We want to hear your ‘tick news’, so if you have a tick story to tell, share your photos and comments with Tick Alert and other ‘tick spotters’ by uploading them using the Tick Watch Feedback Form on the right hand side of the page.

What Tick Alert wants to find out...

If you think ticks are spreading.

If you think ticks are becoming more common.

If you have had problems with ticks on holidays in the UK or Europe.

The main ‘tick season’ runs through spring and summer but are you spotting them at other times of the year?

The Tick Alert campaign kindly requests that you restrict your tick news to European and UK experiences.

To help you in your tick spotting visit our FAQs page and see ‘how do I spot a tick?'

Tick Watch

Simon Cane, Burton in Lonsdale, LA6

I seem to attract ticks - and being an active walker, runner and orienteer I give the little varmints plenty of opportunity to attack! My maximum pick-up was some years ago in the Highlands when I (foolishly) laid down on the grass with no top, and ended up with 50+ little ticks embedded....The reason for this note is that I have just extracted the first tick of 2008 from my ankle. In the previous 2 days I had been walking (in boots & long trousers, so shouldn't have been exposed) in the Craven district of the Yorkshire Dales, so presume it came from there.

Jeanette Roberts, Winchester, Hampshire

Bitten by a tick while dog walking on 15th March in local woods. Developed Erythema Migrans rash and symptoms of Lyme Disease. Currently undergoing anti-biotic treatment for Lyme Disease. NB: the hospital consultants comment was- It can't be Lyme as ticks don't bite until May!

As a dog walker- I can tell you that I find ticks on my dog all through the year.

Steve Hepworth, Basildon

My family and I live in Basildon in Essex, we have just returned from a weeks fell walking holiday in the Lake District, where, on the 1st April, my 14 year old son was bitten by a tick on the outside of his left forearm. Due to the weather conditions we were fully covered most of the time walking, however, when walking up Scafell Pike, my son did take off his jacket and lay it on the ground as he rested, and the tick could have got into the sleeve. We did not notice the tick until the evening, where I removed it with a pair of tweezers.

S. Strickland, Taunton

I'd thought I'd just let you know that Tick season seems to have started here already. I live on the edge of Taunton facing towards the Blackdown hills where I take my 2 dogs occasionally.

I pulled approx 2 ticks off one and that was for the whole of last year but this time I've already pulled 4 off in the last 2 months alone and all 4 of these were inside the Taunton boundary and not on the hills, which on this side off Taunton is the M5 motorway,  and all 4 were in the same sort of area which is a common dog walking area on the edge of a housing estate with no sheep or deer.

Melanie Stainton

Regular spring and summer visitor to West Coast of Scotland around the Mallaig area (postcode PH39 4NT) so am very familiar with ticks as they are fierce in this area, and have to check my dogs after every walk - strangely one of them seems to pick up a lot more ticks than the other although they are both Golden Retrievers who both walk together at all times! Sorry I have no pictures to show.

As an example, within a two week May holiday we removed around 8 ticks (mainly before they got themselves attached) from one dog and lost count of the other in the 30's! In August for my second annual visit, the tick situation is thankfully not so bad but still have to stop the dogs from entering bracken and long heather etc as I know they will be covered when they come out if they do!

Back home, I was amazed to find a single tick on one of the dogs whilst grooming him just last week. He hasn't really been anywhere other than along the local beach and adjacent grassland areas of late so I have no idea where it has come from. It had been on him for the best part of a week, I would say from the size of it, and the surprising thing was the colour of this tick - it had a creamy/flesh coloured body, very much paler than the Scottish variety ones which are usually either darkish grey or brown when they are 'full' and swollen up.

I have visited this area of Scotland almost every year of my life (I am 35), but as a child playing, and an adult hill walking over the years, I can say it's only in the last 10 years we have experienced problems with ticks, and I think it's definitely getting worse every year now.

I am getting ready to fight off the hungry little critters again in 3 weeks time when I return to the Highlands. Having only managed to get one attached to me once before, I don't wish to repeat the experience and I still feel squeamish when I see them running across my dogs' coats - thank goodness for blonde dogs as they usually show up nicely!!

Hannah Deakin, Gloucestershire (GL6, Nailsworth)

I visited Kerry county in Ireland, whilst walking across moorland/gorse with a population of wild deer we both picked up many ticks  (20+) each person. We were still finding them days later, but didn't get ill and took medical advice on our return a few days later. They were definite ticks, small black specks, firmly attached and occaisonally engorged with blood. We teased them away with tweezers.

I have also had problems with ticks in my own garden in Gloucestershire. It is on the edge of a small rural town, but there are no sheep or deer, although there are some horses nearby and a population of badgers. My cat would frequently get ticks, and on one occasion I had one on my leg after going outside to hang my washing. These are perhaps slightly larger but otherwise similar to the ones I saw in Ireland.

Rachel Churcher, UK Resident, visited Madeira, March 10-17 2008

Went on a Levada Walk in Madeira through woodland. On arrival back in the UK I found a tick on my back. The tick then fell off, but I had to have the mouthparts surgially removed. Still in the incubation period for Lyme Disease, but I was given antibiotics straight away, so hopefully no infection.

I was not previously aware that ticks were a danger on Madeira - equally, I was wearing sensible hiking clothing, and the tick probably dropped down my back with some leaves that fell from a tree. I can't think of any way I could have prevented this, as I was wearing a high-necked polo shirt at the time.

Thank you for your informative website!


Your TICKWATCH Feedback

Tick news from your travels in 2008.

Where you live
(county or postcode) Where you have visited
in the UK in Europe Message Attach photo