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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Ticks and Lyme disease

What is a tick?

Ticks are related to the spider family. They are found all around the world, especially in warm, humid climates.

They are more likely to be found in woodland, especially in areas with:

  • lots of trees that lose their leaves
  • lots of undergrowth or bushes

Public Health England (Crown Copyright 2016)

Lyme disease

Some ticks carry bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The most common signs of Lyme disease are:

  • a rash that begins at the site of a tick bite about a week after it has occurred
  • fever
  • headache
  • flu like symptoms
  • feeling tired

The early stages of Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. Early treatment prevents later symptoms of the disease developing.

The risk of catching Lyme disease from a tick bite in Jersey is very low. There's only been two cases in the Island since 2015. However, recent monitoring and analysis has shown that some tick species in Jersey carry the bacteria that causes the disease.

Lyme disease rash

Dog owners and walkers

Dog owners and walkers should be particularly aware of the dangers of ticks, especially during warmer weather when ticks are more active.

Most animals and birds don't get ill from Lyme disease, but dogs do. If you're a dog owner, speak to your vet about tick control.

Public Health England (Crown Copyright 2016)

Removing a tick

Most ticks don't carry the infection, but if you find a tick it's important to remove it as soon as possible.

You can remove an attached tick with a tick removal tool using a twisting action. This tool is available from your local vet or pharmacy.

If you don't have a removal tool, use fine tweezers and grasp the tick close to the head / mouthparts and gently but firmly pull it outwards without crushing the tick.

Tick removal tool

Be tick aware

There are lots of ways you can prevent tick bites:

  • walk on clearly defined paths to avoid brushing against vegetation
  • if you're walking in or near woodland, heathland, or on paths or routes next to vegetation, wear a long sleeved top and long trousers tucked into socks
  • wear boots or other closed footwear
  • ticks are easier to spot and brush off light coloured clothing
  • consider using insect repellents containing DEET (diethyltoluamide)
  • check yourself for ticks frequently if you spend time in the countryside or garden. Pay particular attend to behind your knees, groin, waist, armpits and hairline
  • ticks can be very small, look for something as tiny as a freckle or a speck of dirt, especially in skin folds
  • check children's heads and neck areas, including the scalp
  • a shower or bath once you're home helps to reduce risk
  • check ticks are not brought home on clothes
  • check pets for ticks and speak to your vet about tick control
  • learn how to remove ticks safely from you or your animal, using a tick removal tool available from your vets or pharmacy
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