Ticks are present in Scotland and carry diseases. If they bite you, those diseases can be spread to you. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease but there are others present in Scotland. To protect yourself, it is important that you learn what ticks look like, how to avoid being bitten, and how to remove a tick safely if you are bitten.

About Ticks

Ticks crawl on foliage
- they don't have wings and can't fly or jump
Ticks at different life stages

Ticks are normally very small and go through three main stages:

The nymph is the most dangerous life stage because:

Tick engorged after feeding

Ticks feed on the blood of mammals and birds. After feeding, their bodies swell to 20 times their original size.

Tick activity chart

Ticks are active throughout the whole year, but most active in early summer and autumn.

About Lyme Disease

Ticks are common in woodland areas

Lyme disease is an increasingly common bacterial infection transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. Cases in Scotland have increased almost 10-fold since 2000. Symptoms are wide-ranging and can include rash, fever, fatigue, muscle soreness, tingling, neuropathy, light sensitivity, headache, nausea, vomiting, heart complications, face paralysis, and hearing loss.

Antibiotic treatment within a few weeks of infection is normally effective, but delay in treatment can result in chronic debilitating illness, which is more difficult to treat.

You are at risk anywhere in Scotland. Depending on the area, between 0 and 14% of ticks in Scotland are infected with Lyme disease. Studies have shown that on average approximately 2-5% of ticks in Scotland are infected.

Ticks can also transmit other infections, such as Rickettsiae, Bartonella and Babesia. If you develop a rash or feel unwell following a tick bite then seek urgent medical advice.

Learn How to be Safe

Protect yourself from tick bites before you go out.