Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

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Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by gomacka »

Stayed overnight on Luinga Mhor off Arisaig: I and two friends found up to 40 ticks, each, on our legs!

As an outdoor and mountain wanderer, all over the world, for more that 35 years, this was a record....

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig

Post by Bruxy »


I take it they were the wee nymphs - barely visible, full-stop sized critters?

It does seem that there are a huge number of them about just now. We did a trip from Lochinver to Kylesku last weekend; overnighting on Oldany Island. The ticks were ballistic! We'd sought out shortish grass growing on a sandy platform as being the sort of place ticks wouldn't want to be as dessication is just about their only enemy - but a few dry bags, placed on the ground while the tent was put up, were hoachin' with them after just a few minutes!
As an aside, they seemed to like light blue and orange the most and yellow the least!

I've found four latched to me so far ... not a lot you may say but as anyone who knows me and the lengths I'll go to to avoid contact with them (everything tucked in, wellies in camp, cooking/socialising on rocks or the beach and careful clothing checks before going into the tent last thing), that's quite alot.

So, from unpleasant, personal experience, I'd add Oldany to the worst tick infested places I've camped in the last couple of years - along with these other contenders .....

Eilean Buidh at Polldobhran
South of Oronsay in Loch Sunart

I've obviously found ticks in other places - but the above were outrageous!

Any more places to avoid? Maybe we can come up with a Top Ten Pick of the Tick chart.


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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig

Post by Chris McDaid »

Shouldn't this say "Tick alert - the whole west, northwest and northern highlands"? :-)

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig

Post by David A »

Hi gomacka, I was up in this area last week, wild camping on the mainland south of Luinga Mhor with not one tick. However, later on in the week I met another group of kayakers, one who had picked up about 20 ticks, the majority on his legs and few on his arms. These ticks were picked up from the Ardnish area. Everyone else seemed to be clear. Perhaps, it was due to the type of trousers you had on: were they loose fitting at the bottom of the ankle where the ticks could have climbed in and up. I was wearing full length stretch running trousers, these might have kept the ticks off, but it didn’t keep the cleggs from biting through them.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig

Post by Jim »

At Easter one of our group found over 40 ticks, a couple of others found a few and the rest were clear.
As far as I can tell we had all been wearing similar types of clothing (except where gender specifics apply - no cross dressing that I noticed) and had all visited the same places.
It is a mystery why beasties seem to prefer some people to others

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig

Post by Grahamd »

I live in the New Forest where ticks are common. Interestingly I rarely get them on me, while my wife and daughter commonly get them. We think there may be an attraction to different blood groups, but I have no scientific evidence for this.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig

Post by usuallycrocked »

Auliston Point, Loch Sunart. At least 40 ticks the next day.
In my youth I was hill walking or climbing every weekend. In 20 years I only once ever found a tick, after walking the hills of Rhum. Now I seem to find them after virtually every sea kayaking/ camping trip. I don't know whether this is simply the different environment or whether they are more common. Even river paddling trips in Perthshire seem to result in their arrival fairly regularly.
Rather worryingly, I've come across 2 people who have developed Lyme disease from bites in Perthshire and Fife.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by MikeB »

Nasty things. I've added various links to ticky things in the Camping and the Wildlife pages in the Almanac. There's some excellent stuff on the Lymes Disease Association website - details of the O'TOM Tick Removal Tool are here - they can be bought from Amazon.

This has been a public information broadcast. Mike.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by tg »

Head sarf?

It might be pretty, but obvioslsy it ai'n't that pretty!

Frogs, snakes, and trees, remember them. Give up the romantic sentimentalism and be healthy.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by rockhopper »

Someone mentioned that they thought the increase in ticks was possibly due to sheep no longer being dipped, presumably because of the problems that the dip was causing to farmers after long exposure to it.


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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by CCL »

http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&Page& ... 9369564141

The HPA appears to be interested in collecting all these little ticks that you are removing....not sure Mr Postman would be too keen if he knew what you were posting though.


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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by CCL »

http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HP ... 9968694565
This recent publication on the HPA webiste is very comprehensive and thorough. Its a bit 'clinical' but worth a read if you are interested in ticks and the potential problems they can cause.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

If it was above the pebbley beach, from the short grass near the two plank seats, then yes, we got them too !

We stopped for lunch there on saturday last week. I saw tiny ticks crawling up my bare legs, about six. They were very small.

I had shorts on and a rash vest and ran into the sea to get rid of them. Every shower, and at night in the tent since then, I have been checking, touch wood no more. I was haunched down watching a club paddler try to light a kelly kettle. Most paddlers were sitting on the benches. The next day we sat on rocks for lunch.

Others had ticks too, it was a club trip.

The Arisaig campsite owner said they live on the land and deer swim out to the islands there. He said if you drag a wool blanket over the heather and grass then turned it over there would be ticks all over it ! He said if they were very small they could be bird ticks.

He is not sure but they have climbed since stopping the dip treatment.

Next time I should follow the hillwalking and climbing precautions.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by PeterC »

Just back from a couple of nights at Peanmeanach, didn't see too many ticks there, but since coming home have removed three small ones(probably nymphs), I had been taking the usual precautions though I was wandering about in some pretty dense undergrowth. Like Ian above I've noticed a significant increase in recent years, in the early days of my mountaineering, (thirty-five years now), they were a real rarity, I think I had been climbing for about seven years before I saw my first. About ten years ago I was doing some ecological survey work in the oakwoods south of Beasdale Station. This area was by far the worst that I have ever seen for tick infestation (35 years climbing + 20 in forestry) so if your camping in that area and go for a wander in the woods be careful.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by lg18 »

We have also been accosted by ticks on Luinga Mor while having lunch - we had to move down onto the stones on the shore and avoid the grass. I noticed lots of deer dung as the likely culprits! All these ticks we see will almost certainly be the same species - Ixodes ricinus ("sheep" tick, although they bite everything).

Just to clarify - if people are getting as many as 20 ticks on them, these are most likely to be the newly hatched stage "larvae" (1mm or less, beige, come in batches as they hatch from an egg mass) which have not yet had a feed and so are highly unlikely to have Borrelia burgdorferi (the agent of Lyme Disease). The vast majority of Lyme boreliosis cases in humans are from the year-olds "nymphs"(2mm, grey/black) which have previously fed on a small mammal or bird (which are the main transmission hosts for Borrelia). Our recent study (not yet published) found 1-14% of Scottish Ixodes ricinus nymphs carried Borrelia.

So basically, if you're bitten by larvae, probably no need to worry about Lyme disease; but if bitten by a nymph for several hours (especially more than a day), pull it off asap with tweezers/tick tool and keep an eye out for the bullseye rash and flu-like symptoms after 1-2 weeks.

Hope that helps,

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by explorer624 »

An old post I know.

Just thought id add that things haven't changed.

I camped overnight with my two little girls on Luinga Mhor. The following day I noticed the ticks. Each of my girls had at least 40-50 ticks. It took 3 hours to get them off.
My tent took a couple of weeks to sort out. It was riddled with them. Every time I simply touched the tent id have about 4-5 ticks on my hand. I got two large cans of tick spray containing Permethrin to finally declare my tent tick free.

ps they were all the tiny tiny ones.

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Re: Tick Alert: Luinga Mhor by Arisaig^

Post by Chris Bolton »

Each of my girls had at least 40-50 ticks.
With that many, I'd be taking them to a GP for blood tests for Lyme disease. I used to think that you'd be OK with the tiny ones, as they wouldn't have bitten anything previously and wouldn't be infected, but apparently most infections are from nymphs. The bigger ones get spotted sooner and removed before the infection can spread.

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