With winter hardly gone from the mountains, mountain safety experts are advising walkers and climbers: “Tick the Munros – just don’t let the Munros tick you!”
Ticks are small arthropods (related to spiders and scorpions) and are common in vegetated areas in the Scottish hills. They are particularly suited to mild damp climates and therefore thrive on the west coast mountain regions of Scotland. Aside from being a nuisance, ticks carry diseases, including Lyme disease which can be extremely serious if not diagnosed early.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland is advising hill-goers to check themselves carefully after a day on the hill to ensure they haven’t picked up any unwanted guests.
Heather Morning from the Council recommends that hill walkers are vigilant and take some simple precautions such as tucking trousers into socks or wearing gaiters when on the hill. It’s also well worth taking a good look at yourself when you return home to spot the ticks before they latch on. She said: “From experience, they seem to appear even a few days later. If you find one attached to you, remove with a tick hook. If in doubt seek advice from your doctor.”
If you’ve never had a tick, check out this six-minute video clip to see what they look like and how to safely remove them: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/hillwalking-essentials-video.asp