Graphic of ticks

What makes viruses tick?

“What makes viruses tick?” is a project led by the Brennan Lab at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research

The project aims to raise awareness of ticks and tick-borne diseases across Scotland. Raising awareness of ticks and tick-borne diseases across Scotland will empower people to make informed decisions when accessing the outdoors.

Scotland has seen an increase in the popularity of outdoor pursuits in recent years. As more people spend more time hill-walking, running or camping in the countryside, we can expect to see an increase in reports of tick bites and sightings.

Climate change may also be impacting tick populations, as the recent mild winters in Scotland may have stopped ticks from dying off meaning more survive through the winter to start biting again in spring.

The Brennan Lab are partnering with TCV to grow our #TickMap where you can take a look at and report tick “sightings and bitings”!

Whilst the project is mainly concerned with tick sightings in Scotland, sightings from other parts of the UK and the rest of the world are welcome and can be recorded on the tick map, and this data will be shared with the Smithsonian Institute.


Tick map

Submit a sighting

Important: Please don’t go out looking for ticks!

If you/someone you know/your child/pet get bitten, then please let us know by filling in this short form.

Submit your sighting

Keeping tick safe

When you are out and about, it’s important to make sure you:

  • Wear long sleeved tops and trousers, ideally tucked into your socks.
  • Wear light-coloured clothes so the ticks are visible.
  • Stick to clear paths and try not to wade through vegetation especially long grass and bracken.
  • Take a spare pair of clothes to change into at the end of your activity.
  • Thoroughly check yourself for attached ticks at the end of your activity, and again when you get home.

If you do get bitten...

If you do get bitten make sure you:

  • Do not disturb or squash the tick’s body – this can make it regurgitate whatever it may be carrying (for example Lyme disease), and if you pop it the contents may spill onto your skin too.

An illustration of a squashed tick

  • Remove it quickly and safely (using a tick-removing tool or fine tweezers) by gripping the tick by the mouthparts as close to your skin as possible and pull steadily away from the skin.

Illustration of removing a tick from skin

  • Check the bite to make sure all the tick is removed.
  • Wash the bite and then apply antiseptic cream to the skin around the bite.
  • If there are bits of the tick you cannot remove yourself, or if you develop a circular red rash or flu-like symptoms – feeling hot and shivery, headaches, aching muscles or feel sick in the month after you are bitten – go and see your doctor as these could be symptoms of Lyme disease.

Keep up to date

You can follow us on social media for up-to-date information on tick sightings, tick safety and any public events we’re hosting:

Twitter: @VirusesTickCVR
Facebook: @VirusesTickCVR

You can also follow the research team on Twitter to keep up to date with tick-borne virus research at the CVR!

@BrennanLab | @BBrennan83 | @Wilsonasaur | @_andyclarke_ | @Maziciendoz | @KDaviesEnto | @littlebaleine

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Come and find us

  • Keep an eye on our social media pages to find out about our free online Tick Awareness Webinars