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Before all the new challengers start spraying their kit and worrying unduly, my experience is that susceptibility to ticks varies between individuals.
In 9 challenges I've had just one, but have walked with folk who have had ten or more in a day. Must be a body chemistry thing I guess.
As the Americans would say - YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).
It is quite worrying to get Lyme disease (Borrelia) by a tick bite in winter. Is that another side of climate change?
Andy is right that ticks have their preferences: I am usually the one that attracts loads of them. From the 1980s I remember removing 10 to 20 ticks from my body after rough walking on Scotlands west coast.
Contrary to all the poison sprayers, my experience is that the best remedy is to accept them as part of nature, to watch them and to remove them, every day again.
I have had days walking in shorts when they were literally crawling all over my legs, but every break I would sit down and remove them all, as you see them climbing up your legs, with the result that at the end of the day I had no bites. (OK, I have the advantage of long legs!)
Compare that with a day walking fully clothed, never seeing any of them, untill you wake up in the morning to find this tick that has been there. For how long?
All I am saying is that it is more likely to get a tick bite when you are not aware of any risk. Poison and clothes may reduce the risk, but also by giving you a feeling of security make you less aware.
Finally, I need to tell that sometimes I get tick bites at home.
When I get home after a weekend backpacking I take a nice shower, inspect myself and remove any ticks. Then I hang my tent and gear to dry out. More than 5 times I have discovered a tick bite on Tuesday or Wednesday morning. The only feasible explanation I can think of is that the tick has travelled with me in the tent, on my rucksack, on my clothes and knows how to find me when I store the dried gear away.
I should have said, I am in no way complacent! Despite using Permethrin on my gear, I still do a thorough check of myself, morning and night. Would be foolish not to.
I read that Tick Bourne Encephalitis has been recorded in UK ticks now too. Only Thetford Forest and Hants/Dorset border so far, but given that it has been moving across Europe, and a couple of years ago was in Eastern France, it's not hanging around. Gov.uk says most people won't get symptoms, though it can cause flu like symptoms, and a few get serious illness. As I understand it they can treat any symptoms but not the disease. There's a preventative jab but you have to pay. Info at
and on NHS website.
I got bitten on last years crossing on my shin. Only noticed when it got itchy and felt a lump when I scratched.
First time I’ve been bitten to my knowledge. When I went to the doctor in June, they spotted another one a my waist. I had only been walking locally and had picked up another! Got some permethrin after that and sprayed my tent, pack and clothesline!
Felt awful until I eventually got treatment. Not something to take lightly.