The Danger of Ticks and Lyme Disease

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    Avatar photoDartmoor Dave

    I have noticed that some new caches are listing “Ticks” in the attributes and I wonder how many cachers have come across them and are aware of just how dangerous they can be. The ticks themselves are not dangerous but a small percentage carry Lyme disease which is a very dangerous disease which often goes undiagnosed by both those affected by it and many doctors.

    If Lyme disease goes undiagnosed and untreated it can lead to almost complete incapacitation in some cases, but less severe effects in others. At this stage it is almost untreatable. I first became aware of the seriousness of this when a guest told me he had Lyme disease, he told me how it affected him and after only one day he had to return home!

    [caption id="attachment_2161" align="alignleft" width="222"]lymeinfectedtickrash Typical “Bulls Eye” Rash[/caption]

    The main problem is that it often goes undiagnosed until it is too late and then satisfactory treatment is almost impossible although the symptoms may be relieved to some extent. Prevention and early diagnosis are therefore vitally important and I draw your attention to the following articles:

    Ignorance of tick-borne Lyme disease ‘costing lives’
    Lyme Disease Action FAQs
    DNPA Tick Advice

    Avatar photoHobo

    We have been putting “ticks” on a some of our caches because of this danger. I understand that most insect repellents also deter ticks.

    Avatar photodartymoor

    Our fields have deer that go through them, and who bring in ticks at a prodigious rate. I’ve pulled up to 30 ticks off one of my ponies in an evening at peak season and the dogs get quite a few too.

    And when camping on the Southwest Coast Path one evening, I turned on the light to see dozens of them climbing up the inside of the tent wall! Didn’t get much sleep after that.

    Despite all that, I’ve never knowingly been bitten by one, or leeches, although I do get bitten by fleas now and then.

    Avatar photoreb10

    If you find a tick it is advisable to remove it as quickly as possible, this lessens the chance of contracting Lyme disease.
    Care needs to be taken when removing the tick so as not to leave the head embedded underneath the skin as this can cause infections. There are special implements available for safe removal.
    The best way to avoid ticks is to cover up and apply insect repellent.


    I have known ticks all of my life and pick them up easily. I fortunately have never suffered ill effects but they are sometimes difficult to remove. I generally pick them up in bracken but not always so a TICK attribute for MOORLAND I believe is apt.

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