The sun shone at Drumshang on a lovely hot summer’s day as the ACP team arrived armed with all the implements necessary for a morning of snedding, strimming and mowing. The most important implement of all however was also the smallest!

As the team tore into the undergrowth so clouds of insects rose along with the grasses and dust. Clegs were the most obvious nuisance but other, less obvious insects were also about and these included the dreaded tick. As far as is known, the only casualty was yours truly, who found one on his inner arm the following day. This was swiftly and easily removed with a tick-pick (see photo) and each work party leader will have one or two of these in his or her first-aid kit.

Tick bites can, in exceptional cases lead to the potentially serious Lyme disease so it is worth reinforcing the simple safety measures to avoid and/or deal with tic bites:

  • Wear appropriate clothing to cover as much flesh as possible – long trousers, sleeves and socks
  • On returning home, before or during showering, inspect your body for ticks which may be embedded. These are identifiable as tiny, raised, black dots which you can feel if you brush your hand across the area. A magnifying glass will allow confident identification.
  • Remove the tick using the tick-pick in the correct manner. Slide the forked end of the pick underneath the body of the tick (its head is under your skin) and twist to remove the whole tick cleanly.
  • Apply an antiseptic to the affected area.
  • Over the next few weeks, be aware of the (remote) possibility of infection the effects of which can be found described at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/lyme-disease

Hopefully this isn’t my last blog!

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