RESIDENTS are being warned to be wary of blood-sucking insects when out in the countryside.

Small spider-like creatures called ticks feed on the blood of animals and people and are often found in dense vegetation or long grass.

They also appear in woodlands, grasslands, moorland and some urban parks and gardens.

The insects are most active between spring and autumn, and can transmit bacteria which can cause a potentially serious illness such as Lyme Disease.

A campaign organised by Wiltshire Council will be launched during national Tick Awareness Week from March 24 to 28, with information and advice on how to avoid coming into contact with the insects and the safest way to remove them if you are bitten.

Keith Humphries, cabinet member for public health, said: “Wiltshire is a beautiful rural county and this campaign encourages individuals and families to continue enjoying outdoor activities with the knowledge and confidence of how to manage ticks should they come into contact with them.”