What ticks are a risk to people and pets?
Three particular species of hard tick are more likely to attach to people and their pets in the UK. One is Ixodes ricinus (also known as the sheep tick, wood tick, deer tick and castor bean tick), the second is Ixodes hexagonus (also known as the hedgehog tick), and the third is Dermacentor reticulatus (also known as the ornate cow tick or the marsh tick). However, there are many different species of ticks in Britain, and 15 of them have been known to attach to people. It can depend on the area, habitat and surrounding wildlife, as to which species are most abundant. Ticks normally choose wildlife and farm livestock to be their hosts. However, people and pets send out the same signals (body heat and chemicals) as the tick’s usual hosts. The tick recognises these signals as being from a potential host and they will readily attach. Because we are not generally the intended host, we become “incidental hosts”, meaning that we are just in the wrong place at the wrong time Due to various fac