Are Ticks Dangerous?

Are Ticks Dangerous?

Whether you live in an urban area or a rural one, ticks tend to be present everywhere, so before going into details on potential risks, you might want to check out our recent article on how to keep them at bay.

When it comes to cities, ticks can live in parks and green areas, since they usually establish residence in trees, shrubs, grass, leaf piles, or other such types of environments. If you’ve spent a lot of time outdoors, especially as a kid, then you’ve most likely encountered these creatures at some point.

Ticks are attracted to both people and animals, and migrating between the two is not a problem. For this reason, if you have pets, you need to make sure they are properly protected to prevent them from carrying these parasites inside the house.

There are dozens of tick species that live in many different areas, and almost every state has at least one type that lives there. Since the warm season is known for enhancing almost every form of life, spring and summer months are the time when ticks multiply and when their population reaches the highest numbers.

Thus, protecting your pets starting from April until September is crucial for both their and your health. This brings us to this article’s main question.

Are ticks dangerous?

Most of the times, tick bites are harmless and they don’t cause any particular symptom. One thing it’s good to be aware of is that when ticks bite, they release a pain inhibiting substance as well that prevents them from being detected by the host. In other words, you won’t even know it bit you until the deed is done.

In some cases, a tick bite can trigger an allergic reaction, so if you know that your body is prone to such potential issues, you might want to protect your skin during the summer months with a repellent, especially if you intend to spend a couple of nice days in nature.

However, the two potential situations described above are the lighter alternatives. Ticks can also carry various diseases that get passed onto both humans and pets. If left untreated, some of these diseases may have very serious consequences or even be deadly.

A few words about ticks

Belonging to the arachnids group (the same as spiders and scorpions), ticks can range quite a lot in size, have eight legs, and are essentially blood-sucking parasites. Given that there are multiple tick species, their colors can vary as well, going from shades of reddish brown to brown, or black.

Their feeding process is a rather interesting one (although not for the host) because ticks attach to the skin and feed continuously until they are full. This process can last for 10 days, in some cases even up to 14. Another interesting fact is that as they take in more blood, they grow, and after several days their color can turn into a greenish-blue. В

Once they are done feeding, ticks detach themselves from the host. Since their saliva (which according to some experts and researchers might be one of the most interesting substances) reduces pain to avoid detection, the host might not even be aware that a tick is having a meal.

In terms of where they locate on the skin, ticks are usually happier with warm, soft, and moist areas of the body. That’s why once they hop onto a new host, they tend to migrate toward particular spots, such as the hair or the groin. Once they find the preferred location, they bite into the skin and begin feeding.

What are the symptoms of a tick bite?

As we’ve mentioned, tick bites can be completely harmless, which means that they won’t trigger any kind of particular symptoms. In case of an allergic reaction, the area around the bite might hurt or start swelling. Other signs can also appear, such as blisters, a burning sensation, or a rash. In severe cases, an individual may even experience some difficulty breathing.

If you do notice a rash, however, this can indicate a disease as well, so in the case of any such sign, you should check with a doctor as soon as possible. The bullseye rash is the easiest to recognize, as concentric circles of reddened skin start forming. This shape is associated with the tick-borne Lyme disease, so don’t ever ignore it.

While this type of rash is the main one associated with the Lyme disease, it only appears in about 33% of the cases. With this being said, if you do notice that a tick bit you, you need to remove it and then preserve it in a plastic bag and in the freezer, in case your doctor needs to run any tests and determine if a disease was transmitted or not.

For tick-borne diseases, the symptoms can include even full body rashes, neck stiffness, nausea, weakness, headaches, joint or muscle pains, chills, fever, and other similar ones. These can appear within several days after a tick bite, with some taking as long as a few weeks until you start noticing them.

In case you see any of these signs, you should seek medical attention right away, in order to evaluate the situation and see if a treatment is needed. The good news is that ticks don’t bite in groups, so most of the times we’re talking about a singular case. However, this depends on the number of ticks that live in a certain area as well.

How to treat a tick bite

If you notice a tick bite and the culprit is still there having a good time and feeding on your blood, the first thing you should do is remove it. This is done rather easily, and all you need is a set of tweezers.

You should grasp it as close as possible to the skin’s surface and then pull it straight up while applying steady pressure. You shouldn’t twist or bend the tick while you do this since parts of its mouth might remain lodged into the skin. However, if this happens, it’s not the end of the world, but you need to try to remove these as well.

Then you can wash the area with soap and water, and submerge the tick into alcohol to make sure that it died and cannot go for a stroll. Then you should place it in a sealed container and go see your doctor in case you notice any of the symptoms described above. The diseases that can be transmitted vary across different parts of the country.

There are also some measures you can take to prevent tick bites overall. When you go walking in the woods or in areas with a lot of vegetation that favors their presence, you should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Also, avoid getting into shrubs too much and remain in the center of the trails.

You can also apply a tick repellent and then, when you get home, make sure that you check your skin, especially behind the ears, under the arms, around and behind the knees, and your hair. This way, you can see any potential tick right away and take the necessary actions. A quick reaction is always a good idea when it comes to these bugs.

seedsandmore.net

What is the green tick for in the mission job host menu ?

What is the green tick for in the mission job host menu ?

Hi all. In the Pause menu, Online, Host a Job, Missions I have some missions with green ticks and some don’t. Now I thought the tick was for completed missions, but I’ve definitely done missions there before and there is no green tick on them. I thought it might have been session based, but when I logged on freshly, I checked and some did have green ticks already. Anyone know how it works ?

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Also, this list isn’t all the missions. So to do the missions I need to phone Ron / Gerald / Lester / Simon? As well as choose them from this menu?

Why is it so messed up, why can’t I just work through a list of all the missions? To be honest most of the missions if not all I’ve played multiple times now (rank 37) and after a bit of go here, get that, bring it here it’s all a bit samey. And I can play a mission for 10 mins, use 10 grenades and only get $2500 for it all. I’m at a net loss after the mission. 🙁

www.reddit.com

Dangerous Outdoor Pests: Mosquitoes, Fleas, and Ticks

When people think of dangerous animals, typically, their minds go to the great predators of the world. Lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!). Though these animals are dangerous in their own right, they’re not even close to being the most dangerous animals in the world. The scary thing is: some of the most dangerous animals in the world are tiny, unassuming, and live in your backyard. Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are some of the most dangerous pests in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over 600,000 cases of diseases spread by these tiny pests in the United States from 2004 – 2006. The good news is that, with a few outdoor pest control techniques, you can keep these pests out of your backyard, keeping you and your family safe.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are the most deadly animals in the world. At least 425,000 people die every year from diseases spread by these annoying pests, especially malaria. While malaria, yellow fever, Dengue fever, Chikungunya, and Zika virus are very serious and often deadly mosquito-borne diseases, the fact of the matter is that these rarely occur here in Maryland. That’s not to say that mosquitoes are harmless here, Mosquitoes in Maryland are still able to transmit diseases that can pose a threat to you and your family.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Maryland

  • West Nile Virus
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Not only are mosquitoes dangerous, but they’re also pretty annoying too. Their swarms are the bane of any backyard barbeque. As the springs and summers get warmer and wetter, the mosquito population has more than tripled over the years. So, what outdoor pest control methods can you use to keep mosquitoes out of your yard?

Outdoor Pest Control Methods: Mosquito Control

  • Remove lawn debris
  • Keep your lawn mowed
  • Remove all standing water
  • Clean your gutters
  • Citronella candles
  • Encourage mosquito predators

Keep Your Lawn Clean

The first step to keeping mosquitoes out of your yard will be to remove any lawn debris and keep your grass cut. Mosquitoes love to hide out in piles of leaves and long grass. If you rake your leaves and keep your grass cut, it’ll remove some of the breeding areas for these pests.

Check for Standing Water

Most insect control methods target the adult mosquitoes, but this reactionary approach won’t keep them away in the long run. The best way to get rid of mosquitoes is to take a proactive approach. Check your property for any containers, flower pots, toys, and anything else that has collected water. These places will quickly become mosquito hotspots. It’s also a good idea to make sure your gutters aren’t clogged as this can cause standing water as well.

Get Creative

There are many different ways to keep mosquitoes from invading your yard. From DEET mosquito repellants to citronella candles, the options are endless. One creative way to keep these buzzing bloodsuckers away is to encourage their predators. Bats love to chow down on mosquitoes, if you put up a bat box somewhere on your property you’ll have your own resident mosquito killers patrolling the skies every night. Be friendly to the birds and spiders in your yard as well!

If you need some extra help keeping the mosquito hordes away, give us a call at On The Green. We have a mosquito control program that will let you get the most out of your yard this summer!

Fleas

Mosquitoes aren’t the only bloodsucking pests that have a history of harming people. Fleas were the cause of the most devastating pandemic that this world has ever seen. The bubonic plague, or “Black Death”, killed as many as 200 million people in the 1300-1400s. Halving the population of Europe and decimating the Middle East and China as well. It took over 200 years for the human population to regain the numbers it had before the plague. After centuries of research, the culprit was found: fleas.

These tiny pests fed on infected rats and spread the disease to humans through flea bites. While the threat of bubonic plague is mostly under control, there are still outbreaks of the disease every year in different parts of the world. There are even cases in the United States every year. While fleas may not pose as great a threat to us as they once did, they are still a threat. Especially to our pets.

Common Flea-Borne Diseases and Conditions in Pets

  • Tapeworms
  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
  • Tularemia
  • Anemia

Whether you have dogs or cats, a flea infestation is very difficult to get rid of. There are plenty of flea control products out there that will help you prevent fleas from getting on your pets but these pests are persistent. Keeping them from establishing themselves in your yard is key to flea prevention.

Outdoor Pest Control Methods: Flea Control

  • Mow your lawn regularly
  • Remove lawn debris
  • Keep shrubs and trees away from the side of your home
  • Flea sprays

If you can keep the flea population in your yard down throughout the spring and summer, then you’ll avoid the possibility of fleas overwintering in your home throughout the colder months. If you need a little extra help with your outdoor pest control, then call us at On The Green. We have the flea and tick control services that will help you get rid of fleas!

Ticks

Of all the pests on this list, ticks are the most dangerous here in Maryland. According to the CDC, over the last decade infections from ticks have more than tripled and diseases transmitted by ticks made up 77% of all vector-borne infections. Not all species of ticks transmit diseases to us, but there are quite a few that do and five of them live here in Maryland.

Ticks in Maryland and the Diseases they Transmit

  • Lone star tick: Tularemia, ehrlichiosis and Heartland virus
  • Brown dog tick: Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Gulf Coast tick: Rickettsiosis
  • American dog tick: Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Blacklegged tick/Deer tick: Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and Powassan virus

None of these ticks or tick-borne diseases should be taken lightly. Lyme disease alone causes over 300,000 people to become sick every year, and the number continues to grow every year. The majority of these infections happen in the northeast, with Maryland having among the highest numbers of Lyme disease infections every year. Tick control has never been more important.

Outdoor Pest Control Methods: Tick Control

  • Always check yourself and your pets after being outside
  • Mow your lawn regularly
  • Remove overgrown brush
  • Clear lawn debris
  • Keep playground equipment and toys away from the treeline

If you want a little extra security from the menace of ticks in your yard, call us at On The Green. We have the tick control services that will help keep the ticks away from your yard.

On The Green has the Outdoor Pest Control Solutions for You

Here at On The Green, we take outdoor pest control seriously. Give us a call at (410) 695-0444 and let us help you protect you and your family from the dangerous outdoor pests here in Maryland. Check out our pest control services to see what is the best fit for your lawn.

www.onthegreeninc.com

Must See Scotland

Ticks in Scotland — don’t worry, but be aware

Encountering ticks in Scotland is something to keep in mind, and not just if you head for the hills. We really don’t want to spoil your time here but these beasties are potentially much worse than everyday midges. Here are some tips to minimise your risks.

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Ticks in Scotland

The possibility of picking up a tick in Scotland is something you may want to bear in mind when you are here.

Sometimes you hear that you are at risk from them only in the Scottish Highlands – but we have found these horrid little creatures in the Lowlands as well. (More to the point, they have found us. )

There is not very much about them in tourism promotional literature. (I mean ‘North Coast 500 — Where even the Ticks are Friendly’ was never going to work, was it?)

Yes, this is one aspect of nature and outdoor Scotland we’d rather not think about. To be frank, ticks give most of us the creeps.

How do I recognise ticks in Scotland?

I have just realised that I have pictures of lots of things with a Scottish theme – from tea cosies shaped like sporrans to haggis fingers. But I have seldom steeled myself to photograph a tick here in Scotland. What a woose, eh? So, I thought I should just get it over and done with…read on…

Here’s an engorged tick. Note it’s the size of a small pea and shiny. Horrid, yes, I agree. Pen top gives an idea of scale.

I found this one — oh horror — on the carpet on the upstairs landing and I hope — in fact, I’m sure — it came off the dog. Somehow we missed it.

I have included a pen-top as comparison so you get an idea of what a well-fed tick looks like.

And it was very much alive and waving its little legs around when I took the picture. Eeek.

Actually, the last tick that attached itself to me I found while in the shower and, trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted a picture of where that one was.

No, they’re not very obvious at this stage. a tick before it finds you is a wee spidery thing. (Note the eight legs — so it’s an arachnid.) As you can see from my unrealistically enlarged thumb, this shows a tick probably, oh, about 4-5 times actual size.

OK, here are some pics that should help you identify a tick. There’s a ‘not attached’ tick picture right here. See? It’s an insignificant spidery thing and very small beside my long-nailed guitar-picking thumb.

Where did I find it? Well, Johanna was sitting at breakfast at home when she saw it on her hand. She’d just filled a bird-feeder and we reckon it was off that. (Yeah, birds get ticks too.)

I think she took it rather calmly, as I brushed it on to tissue in order to take the pic. This was in July 2019 — after a wet and cool June.

I note that I predicted further down the page that the beasties were likely to put in an appearance after all the June rain that year made the vegetation so lush. Yes, summer 2019 turned out to be the worst summer yet for ticks.

The picture on the page-header is of the Speyside Way, just west of Portgordon, on the Moray coast, and both the dog and me have come home with ticks from an adjacent field.

Anyway. A tick on the lookout for a blood meal is a very small and insignificant spider-like creepy-crawlie. (Actually, it is a spider.)

Oh heck…here’s another one. Please note this is still the dog — it’s not my hair. Early September, weather mild, ticks still active.

….and rotate. Tick hook in action.

In contrast, an engorged specimen, attached to you or your dog, is all too recognisable as an almost pea-sized shiny object, of a sort of mauve or dirty beige colour. If you find one on you, keep calm, as in.

«How do I get the *!*@*!* thing off me?»

Look, I said, keep calm. It’s best to use a tick hook.

«But I haven’t got a *!*@*!* tick hook!»

No, that’s the problem for most of us. We must have bought quite a few since we have had dogs. We keep the hooks in a safe place, then two things happen.

Firstly, we can’t remember the safe place and second, even if we did remember, it probably isn’t close to us when we need them, possibly out in the country with the infernal creature sucking the lifeblood out of one of us, or the pooch.

The moral here is obvious, would’t you say?

Smidge, the midge-deterrent people, have come up with a solution for folk like us who mislay tick-hooks.

OK, we haven’t used it ourselves, but this tick-removing card is getting good reviews and, best bit of all, you can keep it in your wallet, credit card case, phone case, handbag or any other handy space you can think of.

However, it’s only one of a number of tick removal tools. Read on…

Keep that tick-hook handy!

Just a second, our tick hook is in the drawer somewhere. Anyway, you can buy these hooks on line right here, or from veterinary surgeries, pharmacies, even outdoor clothing retailers.

A smooth rotating motion is necessary to make sure you get the beastie out cleanly.

Rather worryingly, the health page with the link below says you should pull steadily without rotating, but I think that’s when you are using tweezers. The tick hook people definitely say rotate.

You definitely don’t want the whole sucking process to go into reverse during the operation. What I am trying to say is that you don’t want the blood back if the thing has ingested it.

Even better than a tick hook? Hmm.

This clever device was brought to our attention, as an alternative to a hook, as sometimes things can go wrong, as we hint at above.

This tick lasso is easier to use and gets some five-star revues. So you should take a look at that as an easier option.

Another five-star tick remover is on Amazon for US and UK visitors on that link. It works for humans and pets. Take a look. We haven’t checked this one out yet.

A fully-engorged tick, just about ready to drop off. Unpleasant, eh?

Brave folk, such as our friend Veronica, tackle tick removal from dogs using only fingernails. If we happen to be with her at the time, we tend to scream and run away.

Frankly, I wouldn’t recommend dealing with ticks this way at all. Obviously, the best advice is not to get the things on your skin in the first place.

If you have been anywhere in the outdoors with longish vegetation – bracken is notorious — then check your clothing afterwards – say, before you get back into the car. Repeat: you are looking for very small spiders.

(NB, technically, they are not insects but arachnids — though their precise position in the animal kingdom can be explored at leisure — actually, further down the page as well — after you’ve brushed them off.)

And cover up. Wear long sleeves etc; tuck your trousers into your socks. (NB It must be your socks. Tucking your trousers into anyone else’s socks is much less effective.)

How do I avoid ticks?

Ticks in Scotland. She got a tick bite while sitting right there!

STAY ON PAVEMENTS AT ALL TIMES. SIT IN PUBS A LOT.

No, seriously – and it is serious – I would repeat: don’t go brushing through heather, long grass or bracken with bare legs or arms. However, try explaining that to the dog.

Maybe you want your faithful friend treated with preventative medication. We used to refer to it as ‘front-lining’ the dogs, after one of the brands. Treatments usually last for about a month.

However, I should confess now that we don’t use chemical treatments on our little dog, as some of the treatments have been associated with fits and other side effects, especially in terriers.

OK, the jury is out on that one, but if you are a pet owner I suggest you do some on-line research.

Try putting «side effects of flea and tick medication» into your favourite search engine. But do this after you’ve read all of this page, will ya?

Another day when we found a tick.

Personally, after a lifetime of striding around hill and glen, field and forest, I have had bites, oh, a few times. And Johanna once sat on the top of a cliff — the occasion is actually pictured above — enjoying views of a seabird colony and then later – oh, horror, she found a tick attached firmly to her side, below the waistband. So keep your shirt tucked in as well!

(Which seabird colony, I hear you ask. well, Troup Head in Aberdeenshire, to be quite plain. Again, note, it wasn’t amongst heathery Highland scenery.)

See also:  Dangers of Pyrethrum, Home Guides, SF Gate

By the way, you might by now want to take a look at some tick-proof clothing and accessories.

Do organic repellents work?

As for organic repellents, we make no claims other than the observation that we rub oregano oil on to our terrier’s coat if we think we are going to be out in tick territory.

So far that’s been pretty successful, though, to be plain, there are times when we forget to put it on him! Apparently a variety of essential oils as well as oregano are said to give some protection. Frankly, I’m not sure either way.

Some signs of a tick bite

Ticks in Scotland — typical habitat. Pictured here is a lush growth of vegetation in late summer. Typical tick habitat in Scotland. Photographed on Ulva, Mull, as it happens, but it could be anywhere. (Actually, this isn’t fair. I never got a tick on Ulva!)

At the time, there is no pain with a bite, though the site can be itchy after removal.

You don’t want redness, especially spreading redness, to result, in which case medical advice should be sought.

(Again, I can remember removing one from the back of J’s arm. Two days later there certainly was a red linear patch from it.

The doctor gave her antibiotics and also blood-tested her, on a ‘just-in-case’ basis.)

A small percentage of these insects carry Lyme Disease, an unpleasant illness with flu-like symptoms and worse. (More on this aspect below.)

While the worst place to find them is on you (obviously), I think the second-worst place to find them is at home on the carpet, swollen up.

Then you just have to hope it fell off the dog and not you.

Ticks are certainly not confined to Scotland – they are very widespread in other parts of Europe and beyond, but Scotland has a lot of wild country.

(Note also the ones carrying tick-borne encephalitis are found on mainland Europe but NOT in Scotland. However, there have been reports in some English newspapers that in 2019 some encephalitis-carrying ticks had been found in the far south of England.)

Ticks and a global warming connection?

Strangely enough, I roamed about the countryside as a boy and never once heard of ticks, but there is an increasing awareness of them today.

The theory — or, at least, the story going the rounds — is that the milder winters in Scotland these days are allowing a greater number of ticks to survive.

They don’t get killed off and the result is higher numbers at the beginning of the season. Another symptom of global warming, perhaps? However I should point out that during the heatwave part of the summer of 2018, ticks seemed to be lying low, only appearing when the weather cooled.

Click the pic to get the tick…

Here’s a half-engorged tick, taken off the dog, with a beer-bottle top for size comparison.

(On the other hand, June 2019, was off-puttingly wet, and the little beasties put in an appearance shortly after…Should really start carrying that credit-card size tick remover all the time…)

When ticks are not spoiling your country break, they feed off a wide range of other Scottish animals, wild and domestic: sheep, hare, deer, foxes, etc.

This is why game managers, under pressure to build up unnaturally high grouse populations on managed grouse moors, enjoy slaughtering high numbers of mountain hares.

The poor hares get the blame for giving ticks to the grouse.

The bottom line is: don’t for a moment let these insects put you off your enjoyment of the country here – but be aware and be sensible.

Here is some more good information about ticks in Scotland. (All you ever need to know, plus some pictures.) And I found this information that even includes a map of places that have high densities of ticks in Scotland.

So, compared to these critturs, midges in Scotland are, well, comparatively friendly. Scottish clegs, though, now they are something else.

You’ll still visit though, won’t you? I’ve never picked up a tick, say, in Edinburgh!

Ticks, deer and Lyme Disease

With it being accepted now that tick numbers are on the rise, the media is starting to run stories about what should be done.

Obviously, banning fossil fuels and in general stopping the long drawn out and remorseless screw-up of the planet would help, as it may reverse global warming and among all the other obvious benefits, such as us not becoming extinct as a species, tick numbers would fall.

But as that isn’t going to happen, some of the public are favouring a deer cull. Well, deer are large mammals that have increased greatly in Scotland and beyond in recent years. So it stands to reason that they must play host to ticks.

But not so fast. Professor Lucy Gilbert, an animal ecologist at Glasgow University and an expert on pests and parasites, reports in the Guardian that the incidence of Lyme disease is related to the number of infected ticks, not just the total number.

She points out the deer have antibodies that protect them from — wait for it — Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the disease carrying organism within infected ticks.

So while they may carry ticks around, there is a possibility that a deer being bitten by an infected tick may result in that tick being ‘cleansed’ of the Borrelia infection and hence rendered ‘safe’.

Complicated, isn’t it? Yes, deer will increase tick numbers but not necessarily infected tick numbers.

For everyday stravaiging tourists who pick up a tick, remember that while Lyme disease can be serious, not every tick carries it and make sure you have the tick removed promptly. (Well, who wouldn’t?)

Lyme disease or CFS?

I should also like to bring your attention to a piece in England’s Daily Torygraph (only noticed because I use a news aggregator — otherwise wouldn’t be seen dead reading it).

There it puts forward a claim from medical experts that some who suffer from Lyme Disease actually have a form of chronic fatigue syndrome (or CFS, sometimes disparagingly called ‘yuppie flu’).

It goes as far as to imply that patients almost prefer to have the Lyme disease label rather than the implication they have the ‘stigma’ of CFS.

I am in no position to comment further, except to suggest you don’t take ticks lightly.

Finally, here’s a correction — no, a whack across the fingers with a ruler — that I received from a kind reader, after I referred to the beasties as ‘insects’ on this page. So, so wrong…but I’ve changed this in the text now. Listen up…

“ Ticks are not insects. I am a professional teacher of Natural History and this may seem unimportant but accuracy in science is everything. Ticks are arachnids, relations of spiders and scorpions, amongst others. They have 8 legs, whereas all insects have 6. Insects have 3 body parts: Head, Thorax, Abdomen. Arachnids either have two or one body part. In short Arachnids are NOT Insects. It’s the same as calling a dog a fish. Get it right and inspire confidence in the information you offer. Best wishes ! ”

My Border terrier is now worried I will mistake him for a fish, possibly a dogfish.

Best way to see the Loch Lomond area? Go cruising Loch Lomond. Especially in summer to avoid the biting clegs and midges. Seriously — avoid driving the Aberfoyle-Stronachlachar-Inversnaid at peak times. We’ll tell you why.

Essential advice on where and how to avoid midges in Scotland. Will they spoil your enjoyment of the Scottish Highlands? Yes, they can be a serious nuisance — though you’d have to be bitten by 20 million midges simultaneously for their bites to be fatal!

Heather is an icon of Scotland. Here is where you will find it — and some advice about the best time to see it in bloom. It’s surprisingly widespread — you don’t even have to visit the Highlands!»

A first-time visitor with a couple of days for Edinburgh? Here are some must sees. What else you do depends how much history you can take! And check out our views about whether or not you should visit both Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. (Hint: we wouldn’t make the Palace compulsory!)

must-see-scotland.com

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