After getting multiple tick bites over the last few days I was wondering if the ability to record these in the logbook section could be useful? It could be a feature attached to the crag overview page and may be helpful in raising awareness of locations where climbers need to be extra vigilant. It would only involve recording the date and number of bites. A large data set may also prove useful for academic research in the future. Just a thought.
Maybe also have the facility to record the size and colour?
Yes, I think that something along these lines could be a great idea - even if it were just adding warnings for people to check themselves. My friend has just got Lyme for the second time (both caught and treated early); another friend lost the ability to walk due to Lyme and is still having serious mobility issues three years on. The little fu**ers are a serious hazard and the South Lakes (e.g. Silverdale and Arnside AONB) is crawling with them.
You could just add a note as you log your climbs that you found ticks, and if its common there, add a note in the crag description.
> Maybe also have the facility to record the size and colour?
Maybe also create a sperm bank for the ticks?
There already is a surveillance scheme and database set up
Ok, not crag specific
They seem to be out in force this year. I've never had one and always assumed they didn't like me but got one on the weekend at Goblin Combe. Partner got one in Avon Gorge yesterday.
Goblin Combe is usually riddled with them. My record there is 23 ticks from one day!
We are about to move to Scotland and will obviously be doing lots more walking. We have had a couple of ticks in past years but the problem seems to be much worse now and is the only potential shadow over a long and healthy retirement so I would really appreciate some words of wisdom on this.
Presumably you catch them mostly walking in long grass and pushing through undergrowth?
Does covering your arms and legs with DEET keep them off?
To catch them while walking on a footpath you would only need to brush aginst vegetation?
Easily caught just by sitting down on the grass?
And lastly, how do you find them in creases in the groin area and around your bottom?
The cat will definitely catch them - we dose her regularly with Bravecto, which works for fleas and supposedly ticks but presumably they can still drop off the cat onto seats, bedding, humans etc?
I think one should check the body regardless.
I had a case where I picked out 6 ticks whereas my mate haven’t had any. We ran the route together in two hours. I might be the one who minds less running through the grass though.
You mainly tend to pick them up walking in tall grass or veg, bracken often being quite bad for them. Although I think it varies, I’ve had none walking through bracken occasionally, then other times found hundreds swarming on my trousers. I just tend to check myself and my two daughters whenever we’ve been out climbing or walking.
I don’t use DEET because it’s not great for climbing gear. A combo of permethrin spray on your clothes and smidge on skin seems to be pretty effective. Another obvious solution is to wear trousers and tuck socks in when walking through a suspect area. I tend to give my clothes a good brush after I’ve been through bracken too, you can usually get rid of the buggers before they’ve found a way in.
Regarding finding ticks in awkward places, flexibility, a mirror or an understanding partner will all help! To be honest I only ever seem to get them in the same place, almost always behind my knees or somewhere else on my leg.
As PPP mentioned there seems to be a pretty big variation in how many ticks people get in the same place, hence I always just check us all over whenever we get back from climbing (I live in Scotland). Maybe a good habit for most folk climbing to get into, rather than assuming some crags have them and others don’t.
If you can get the spray on or wash-in permethrin stuff for your clothes, that is the best solution I have known. I used the Sawyer stuff in the Appalachians but I think Lifesystems have a similar solution on sale in the UK.
Be very careful though, as I believe it could be very bad for your cat (further research will be required but I believe permethrin is dangerously toxic to cats).
They tend to jump after a few seconds of feeling vegetation move, so if you are running through long grass with a friend go first !
Haha, is that the same advice as “you don’t need to outrun a bear, just outrun the slowest member of the group”?
Luckily, most of my adventures are solo. Especially at the moment.
Just a simple date entry: number of ticks removed.
could then be data mined
Basically be vigilant. Take care where you sit, and in particular be careful if you've left a bag or shoes lying around.
After a day on the hill try to get changed at the car, hill clothes in a bin bag, tie it up and straight in the washer when you get home.
Consider investing in some very lightweight walking trousers for the summer- I flatly refuse to wear shorts when I'm out walking these days.
I appreciate this sounds a bit batshit but i've had too many scares with ticks/lymes/other tick borne horrors and so have many friends.
On the subject of wee biting things midges are obviously not to be underestimated, buy headnets for all the family plus spares and embrace the beekeeper look. Also f-tonnes of Smidge.
Also the past few years the cleggs have been bloody awful, but thankfully they're big and slow enough to splatter before they bite. If they do be careful and watch for signs of infection spreading. A couple of years ago a pal got bitten while we were on Arran, Two days later the bite was still spreading up her leg and ended up on a course of antibiotics.
But yeah! Scotland is awesome! ;p
Yes- wear clothes, that's the answer, long trousers and long sleeved shirts keep the sun off too. Wandering around in vest and shorts is asking for trouble.
Where you go seems to make a huge difference. In recent summers I've done climbing trips around Scotland and whilst in a number of places, no problem, have found loads on me after a shortish session belaying at Jetty Crag (Gruinard Bay) and another time after climbing in Torridon.
I'm out regularly in Peak and have only found 2 ticks on me in 6 years of regularly climbing, walking, mountain biking, camping etc. around here - that's in comparison with maybe 10 standing at the bottom of Jetty Crag for 45 minutes! So ask the locals once you're in Scotland.
Lots of good advice above.
Last time I got bitten by the little buggers was up in the Green Desert in mid Wales. I got a couple more attach in the days after because I had forgotten to wash my fleece on return, I think they must have been hiding in it.
Now I wear running tights when I walk and wash them in the permethrin from Lifesystems.
Ticks are averse to dry conditions so be extra careful on damp days around long vegetation.
Clegs have a bad effect on me but as long as I pop a loratidine, it's moderated.
Brings a new meaning to 'tick list'...
Seems like people are getting bitten all over the country!
Down in the South West, Goblin Combe and the dark side of Avon Gorge have been become particularly infamous for them. I was a bit surprised to get bites on the Culm coast recently and that was from just sitting on the grass.
> Yes- wear clothes, that's the answer, long trousers and long sleeved shirts keep the sun off too. Wandering around in vest and shorts is asking for trouble.
The wee feckers will have a field day in Loch Lomond and Glencoe on 4/5th July when, to quote a colleague, they fill up with
"Hunners ae bams wi' taps aff"
We've got tick borne encephalitis here in Norway (just in the south) as well. Just got my vaccine this year. I take a tiny pair of tweezers with me when I go climbing and the clothes spray seems to be doing the trick to stop them climbing up me in the first place. Rump and thighs seem to be their favourite feeding locations.
I picked up a massive one at Avon gorge whilst just standing on the grass by the car park for Morpheus. Also had tons on me whilst in the Leigh Woods the other week. Didn’t have deet on but was pretty diligent not to be scrambling through undergrowth or even touching foliage most of the time.
Can we also give info on age, gender and ethnicity as I think this would be useful to see who is seen as host material. This is easier to do for humans than it is for ticks(although if they want to set up their database I'm not one to object). Given the time I spend in Goblin Combe and other apparently infested areas I rarely get to be a host. Also if you're a vet why can't I have a version of my dog's tick medicine. Bit of info here which dog owners may appreciate https://www.esccapuk.org.uk/n/Tick+surveillance+scheme/45/
I've had 2 this year first time ever in this country.
1 was behind my knee after climbing at attermire only discovered a week later it was a bit big second one was jack scout so must have been on the walk in behind my knee again.
I had one in my stomach from Tanzania and was diagnosed with Lime disease when I got home and was very ill. Antibiotics seemed to shift it.
I had lyme 4 years ago but got treated and fixed now. Ticks bite 2 times in their life cycle. Once as nymph and again as adult. Supposedly the nymph (small ones) have a higher chance of passing on lyme, dont know why. They are arachnids and so lay thousands of eggs and hatch in large numbers. I blame brushing past an area where newly hatched on occasions where I have found dozens of small ones on me.
Our Friday Night Video this week was conceived and written by the 12-year-old presenter of the film, Archie Price Siddiqui. The film explores the mystery of whether Sandy Irvine and George Mallory summitted...