/ Lyme in Avon Gorge
As if everyone didn't already know....
Just thought I'd say that a tick I was bitten by tested positive for Lyme, most likely to have been picked up in Avon last week. My work has bought a load of tick testing kits and I just received the results from the lab today. Needless to say I am on antibiotics.
FWIW, the tick in question was a large adult and the bite site became red and itchy, moreso that usual for me (and I get several dozen of the buggers per year).
Keep checking yourselves...
I think i recall seeing a post the other day saying there were ticks about at the far end of Sea Walls, in the woods by the start of M1 and M2. I think I'll give that area a miss for a few months.
I've done a few routes on Main Wall recently and haven't noticed any ticks. ticks. Let's hope the problem is confined to Sea Walls.
I've not climbed at Sea Walls for ages. I would think it better to assume that they are all over the gorge. If they are in the Leigh Woods quarries too then it stands to reason that Main Area/Amphitheatre/SBB would be well within dispersal range. The fact that some people pick up several ticks in one area one day and none in another the next can be down to many factors...
Please people; consider a spray or wash-in treatment containing permethrin for your outdoor pursuits clothing.
Ticks are not going to go away so protect yourselves pro-actively with a product that kills them if they try to use you as as a host.
Yep. I've actually just gone and bought some Lifesystems EX4 spray for a tenner. Douse my clothes and shoes in it and it kills them on contact, apparently. Lasts a couple of washes (mayybe).
Didn't see any other products out there doing the same thing but I'm sure there will be. It was the same formulation and size and the US Sawyers stuff. The only other thing I saw was a 5L tank of the stuff for agricultural use but I'm not quite at the stage of sheep dipping myself just yet.
That's the stuff, i walk in running leggings and a thermal top as base layer and they have been thoroughly soaked in it.
On the evidence of one 3 day trip through allegedly ticky country it works; I didn't pick any up.
I am a bit of a tick magnet. I get them at Cheddar and Avon.....I am not convinced that the introduction of goats/sheep are good for us humans. Thanks for the info.
Dave you seem to be under the impression they keep very small territories.
From following all the local dog pages it seems this year ticks have been rife in almost every park and green space in the city. Seems to be a very good year for them.
I definitely wouldn’t be under the misconception that they’re lurking specifically under certain routes!
I know another climber who contracted Lymes Disease a few weeks ago, and on anti biotics, almost certainly picked up from a tick at Firing Range Quarry, Leigh Woods side....be vigilant, keep checking yourself and your partner...I must have brushed 8 or 10 ticks off me whilst I was there recently.....my mate had long trousers and found one burrowed in on the back of his knee....
I remember a few times in the gorge where I have seen ticks on my hands and lower arms while or after belaying. I think they like to cling to rope...
bit paranoid today, get a lot of bites through work and play. Recently one bugger I didn't find for a day in an awkward spot! Have been very fluey for a week including three bed bound days. However have also been sneezing a bit so have put it down to a virus, it is lingering a bit mind..........
You need to check the area around the bite for the characteristic rash.
But it's worth noting that not all infections manifest with the rash so if people have other Lyme type symptoms after being bitten it's still sensible to get checked out.
And also that the tests don't always show conclusively positive......
Much safer to just push the case and get on the antibi's.
I should just google I know, but there's so much nonsense out there...
When bitten do you generally know about it? Does it itch a bit? Just that I spend enough time wading through bracken in apparently ticky areas, but have never picked one up as far as I know.
> Yep. I've actually just gone and bought some Lifesystems EX4 spray for a tenner. Douse my clothes and shoes in it and it kills them on contact, apparently. Lasts a couple of washes (mayybe).
On reading this thread , which I'm glad I did, I have just purchased some of this from the bay. Cheaper than anywhere else I could see the stuff.
I've been looking to get back out climbing but at the same time horrified by the stories of how prolific the things seem to be getting nowadays with the warm winters.
Just bought this "Bitten - The Secret History of Lyme disease and Biological Weapons" http://www.harperwave.com/…/9780062896278/Bitten-Kris-Newby/ using ticks as a disease transmission vector
From what I have gleaned on the subject over the years (I have had so many tick bites now that I am probably half man, half tick) there are no rules of thumb that you can follow. The following is what I believe to actually be the case:
-The spreading bullseye rash doesn't always form (40-60% of cases)
-Ticks of all life stages (nymphs, larvae and adults) can contain Lyme bacteria.
-Symptoms vary and mimic various diseases from ME/CFS, Glandular Fever, MS (neuropathic sensation/strength changes, brain lesions etc), meningitis and simple flu.
-Ticks do not have to be on you for a minimum number of hours to transmit Lyme, although the risk does increase with time.
-Symptoms may take a few hours to a few weeks to become apparent.
-It can take 2-8weeks for the body to produce sufficient antibodies to be picked up by a blood test, although if you have symptoms a blood test is advisable anyway.
-The initial blood test used by the NHS is an ELISA/EIA test which is notorious for both false negatives and false positives. OK, not a massive rate of either but still more than many tests. Oddly, the more accurate (I think?) test (called either Immunoblot or Western Blot) is only undertaken if the ELISA comes back positive. (I'd love to know from someone more medically knowledgeable why it isn't the other way around!).
-Standard regimen for Lyme is 2x100mg Doxycycline per day for 21 days (other antibiotics can be used too like Amoxicilin etc).
Sorry to be a doom-monger.
I've got nothing to do with the company but FYI, the tick test used was a Pyramid Lyme Disease Test Kit. Usually about a tenner. However, they have just announced that there will now be a £30 testing fee to pay to get your results. A bit shit really.... I could easily spend my entire life savings in no time if I were to test every tick I get!
Incidentally, there are several labs which carry out private blood testing for Lyme at about a £30-£50 rate like Medicheck. Needless to say I think they are normally ELISA. The Immunoblot or Western Blot test can be carried out privately by The Doctors Laboratory and County Pathology (£25) privately but both need your doctor's consent for some reason.
The best tick remover tool I have found is the credit-card style thing. Lifesystems do them as do others.
Lyme Disease Uk and Lyme Disease Action are two UK based sources of info.
Far better to not get bitten by the c*nts.
BTW this hasn't stopped me climbing whatsoever....
I'm not particularly worried about Lyme/tests etc. Just that I would like to know if I've been bitten by a tick whether carrying the disease or not, and surprised that I've never personally noticed a tick bite or had people round me complaining about them (in the Dales/Lakes) so wondering if bites were things it's possible to miss.
Oh. In that case, most bites I get only start itching after about a day or two and this is usually when I finally notice them. I've noticed that the larger the tick the sooner the itch but this varies. I also suspect that many stay in my clothes/car/climbing gear/house and latch on a while after picking them up.... Most tick bites leave a small red dot on me. However, some bites don't itch and don't form a dot....................
It's not sensible when bitten by a tick but with no Lyme symptoms to use antibiotics with nasty side-effects just as a precaution. Much better to not get bitten in the first place (cover up and use repellants).
You'll know as it'll be still attached. Always check when you get home. They can be pretty small though
My wife had to remove one from a very inaccessible place in me. That's when you know you're loved.
Had once recently at Bourton Coombe - If anyone still ventures out that way. Might be an issue also in Goblin Coombe too.
Dont' wait until I you get home: check your legs and shoes frequently whilst outdoors. Only takes a second or two.
Time for a tick list?
That one would probably fill up pretty quickly...
The key word being "in"
I too worry about ticks in that I've never picked one up that I know about.
Does that mean that I've missed them (do they just drop off eventually?), or do they just not like me (surely I can't be that lucky), or have I just not been trying hard enough.
Whenever I go through bracken, I always try to have leg cover and try to disturb the bracken as little as possible. I also have a quick check of exposed limbs after going through bracken.
But the only time I've even seen a tick was on holiday abroad when one crawled across the table in our hotel room... What's that? Hold on a minute, I think it's a tick, ooh it is!
Are they a bit like midges in that they'll go for some people and not others?
I'm not that lucky with midges
Likewise, hence my question about ticks. I'm a midge magnet (unfortunately yes I did spell that correctly).
Well, you are probably for a nasty surprise - the ticks are using some pretty serious working receptors (from CO2 to body heat) to find a host just like the midges, and a mild breeze won't save you this time I'd just permethrin them out every time, if it was not so poisonous for cats)
As far as I recall, standard procedure was of you think you've been bitten, rash or not, report the bite and location you got bitten to the NHS and the local farming authority. If it's a hot spot, antibiotics just in case.
Both would have records of historic 'hot spots'.
Also worth mentioning here, that Deet like repellants can melt nylon fibres. Which has obvious concerns if you are smeared in Deet and rope climbing!
> I'm not particularly worried about Lyme/tests etc. Just that I would like to know if I've been bitten by a tick whether carrying the disease or not, and surprised that I've never personally noticed a tick bite or had people round me complaining about them (in the Dales/Lakes) so wondering if bites were things it's possible to miss.
It's definitely possible. The deer tick which carries Lyme is tiny. I've had Lyme and Babesiosis twice, once at the same time. I never had a rash and I only found the tick on me once. The other symptoms suck though.
Is there a 'latest' on the percentage of ticks that carry Lymes Disease? It used to be 5% I think.
> ....I would think it better to assume that they are all over the gorge....
After all, the whole Avon Gorge is made of Lymestone
How long can a tick live without a host? For example would they die overnight in your car/climbing bag/wardrobe, or still be walking around looking for blood after a fortnight?
Very dependent on the conditions and when it had it's last feed. I'd take a stab at 1-3 days without a feed.
I don't think they like me; I've been to plenty of places where they are prevalent and even had them crawling all over me but never had one bite. I did the Appalachian Trail where everyone around me got ticks (and some got lyme) and I've been to Lyme in Connecticut where the disease got it's name from. Never had one bite, as far as I know.
I did treat all my stuff a couple of times in America with the Sawyer product, so that may have helped on the trail. Shame it's not readily available over here. I don't see why it wouldn't be, as it's principal ingredient is Permethrin, which is in loads of stuff available off the shelf in the UK.
We've just bought some of the sawyer stuff for work. Exactly the same as the Lifesystems product but more expensive.
Egg to adult life cycle is at least 1 year, maybe 3.
survival period without feeding, point 4 on webpage
"Unlike some other tick species, deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are particularly susceptible to desiccation, or drying out. They can only survive short periods in places where the atmospheric moisture content (relative humidity) is less than say 90%. In one experiment, most of the nymphal deer ticks exposed to 75% humidity for 8 hours died, even after being returned to 96% humidity. In a typical house environment, unfed deer ticks are not likely to survive even 24 hours. Ticks on moist clothing in a hamper can survive 2-3 days. Ticks that have taken a blood meal may survive a bit longer but certainly not the 30+ days it takes to mature and bite again or lay eggs."
I have Lymes Disease, got the bullseye rash, side of my chest, went to my GP this morning, and he didn't hesitate to prescribe me antibiotics, said rash was very convincing....almost certainly got it at Firing Range Quarry, Leigh Woods, opposite Avon Gorge....funny thing is, I never even saw the tick, even though I like to think I am very tick aware....I feel perfectly ok, nothing apart from the rash....I can still drink alcohol, thank god...
Sorry to hear this. Three weeks of Doxy for you! I’m nearly finished with mine!
The Leigh Woods side really seems particularly ridden with the bastards doesn’t it. Lucky you got the rash, in a way.
Out of interest, do you think it was an adult, nymph or larva in size?
> "Unlike some other tick species, deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are particularly susceptible to desiccation, or drying out. They can only survive short periods in places where the atmospheric moisture content (relative humidity) is less than say 90%. In one experiment, most of the nymphal deer ticks exposed to 75% humidity for 8 hours died, even after being returned to 96% humidity. In a typical house environment, unfed deer ticks are not likely to survive even 24 hours. Ticks on moist clothing in a hamper can survive 2-3 days. Ticks that have taken a blood meal may survive a bit longer but certainly not the 30+ days it takes to mature and bite again or lay eggs."
Thanks, that makes me feel loads better! Had another one on me at the weekend, they really piss me off. Was wondering how long they'd survive in the house for if any fell off my clothing when I took it out my bag.
Interesting new research by the Czech Academy of Sciences on Lyme (forwarded to me, although google translate doesn't do the article in Czech much justice, so I do hope I could understand it well enough) - Lyme bacteria not living in tick salivary glands, just in the gut, unlike previously claimed. Transfer vector not via saliva (with common tick, Ixodes ricinus). I'll try to find more info later, especially whether it has any relevance for removal techniques, as soon as I can find some English language sources.
Are insecticides not bad for the environment? Or is permethrin somehow ok? Just wondering what the thinking is on this.
Permethrin is not readily water soluble so it stays bound to the clothes (the washing machine eventually gets rid of it but thats because the detergent solubilises it. Don't go wading through streams in permethrin clothes and its fine.
I still would question it though. If it becomes the norm for climbers and walkers to ramble around wearing this stuff, surely it could have a cumulative effect?
If it takes several washes with the solubilising power of detergent to get the stuff off then I can't see it building up. It's actually present naturally in chrysanthemums, albeit in a lower concentration. Chrysanthemums will occasionally fall into rivers etc. I would bet that the cumulative effect is less of a downside than the effect of Lymes becoming more common in the human population, all things considered. Considering that we are already damaging the environment by driving to the countryside, which does leach chemicals into the environment, then I don't think its significant when compared to the benefit of being safer from Lymes.
There is also the possibility that if used too much the ticks evolve an immunity - has happened in other cases with pesticides.. probably a low risk as not used higely extensively but still a risk
Probably not a risk at all as only a tiny proportion of the tick population will ever end up on somebody's trousers. Insects evolve resistance when the whole population is sprayed i.e. treating a field.
> Well, you are probably for a nasty surprise - the ticks are using some pretty serious working receptors (from CO2 to body heat) to find a host just like the midges, and a mild breeze won't save you this time I'd just permethrin them out every time, if it was not so poisonous for cats) <
A few people on similar threads claim never to have picked up a tick (they may just not have noticed them of course). I'm one and I often scramble through vegetation, sometimes with many deer tracks, in short sleeved shirt, long trousers (not tucked into socks). I usually move quite quickly (possibly it takes a few seconds for the tick to transfer) and I don't stop and sit down in areas where animals have been sleeping (at Swanage I was told about hundreds of ticks having been found in such a place).
Interested in why I'm apparently lucky (so far). I'd have thought that CO2 receptors aren't often important as our mouth is usually too high, at least when walking. My skin is often cool and I don't sweat overmuch. Also is it possible that ticks actually find the rough surface of socks easier to latch onto than some trousers and having them outside trouser bottoms makes things worse? Just musings, I've no real knowledge on the subject. FWIW my son often gets ticks, even at the school he teaches in in W London.
A mate got Lymes from a tick at Fairy Cave Quarry, a few weeks ago...the little perishers are everywhere - beware !!...
Dogs got one from Portishead quarry* yesterday. Gonna let it fatten up overnight before removing it.
Out of interest I wonder if dogs can get Lyme disease? He’s had about one a week all summer.
*assumedly but I guess it could have been on a regular walk.
Dogs do get lymes, I would remove it asap. There is a vaccine for dogs in case it gets more ticks in the future.
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