HAMPSHIRE residents are being urged to be "tick aware" during the rest of the holiday season.

The county council says families should take a raft of precautions when visiting parks and the countryside or simply spending time in their own garden.

Recent sun and rain have created perfect conditions for ticks, which can transmit potentially-harmful bacteria such as Lyme disease.

Cllr Judith Grajewski, the county council's executive member for public health, said: “Ticks thrive in summer, particularly in the kind of humid conditions that we’ve been experiencing, so be sure to cover your limbs if you're out walking in wooded areas or long grass where they wait to attach themselves to passers-by. Don’t forget to check pets too.”

Daily Echo:

Keeping to footpaths and avoiding long grass when out walking is the best way to avoid being bitten by ticks.

People walking in areas known to have a large tick population should also wear "appropriate" clothing such as a long-sleeves shirt and trousers tucked into their socks. Light-coloured fabrics make it easier to spot a tick.

They should also inspect their skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, as well as ensuring pets do not bring ticks in on their fur.

Removing a tick quickly and correctly can help reduce any potential risk.

The only safe way is to use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or an easy-to-use device which can be bought from vets and pharmacies.

They should grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull upwards slowly and firmly parts left in the skin can cause an infection

Once the tick has been removed they should apply antiseptic to the bite area and keep an eye on it for several weeks for any changes

Anyone who begins to feel unwell or develops a circular red rash, often described as a bull’s-eye rash, should contact their GP and mention the tick bite.