Irish Mountain
Running Association


Will Martin-SmithAug 11 2021, 12:50pmI got bitten by about 15 ticks after running in Connemara yesterday. I've removed them all and consulted a GP so that's all in hand. But I want to ensure my clothes and runners are also tick free. What's the best way to kill them on shoes and clothes? Preferably in a way that won't ruin the shoes! Thanks.
Owen HarneyAug 11 2021, 1:23pmI'm afraid I don't have an answer to your question, Will, but do you mind telling me where in Connemara you were running? I often run out in that general area, and always check for ticks, but it would be good to know where you encountered so many of them!

Thanks for posting this here - always good to remind people to check for ticks.
Will Martin-SmithAug 11 2021, 1:45pmHi Owen, I started at Derryclare nature reserve near Lough Inagh and went up in a horseshoe of Derryclare and Ben Corr mountains which overlook Lough Inagh. In fairness, not that it's out in the open, calling it a 'run' might be overstating my pace a bit!
Will Martin-SmithAug 11 2021, 1:45pmHi Owen, I started at Derryclare nature reserve near Lough Inagh and went up in a horseshoe of Derryclare and Ben Corr mountains which overlook Lough Inagh. Now that it's out in the open, calling it a 'run' might be overstating my pace a bit!
Alistair HodgettAug 11 2021, 2:07pmHi, advice in the US was that time in the tumble dryer does the trick with clothes - high heat for 6 minutes or more (link to the research: ). Same research say that a washing on a hot setting will do the job as well.

Shoes are more tricky since they don't do well in the dryer. Advice there was to apply repellent to them ahead of time - I guess apart from inspecting them after a run, not much else to do.
John MurrayAug 11 2021, 3:42pmEucalyptus Oil has been known to be a good repellant and killer. Dilute with water into a spray and use on clothes, shoes or skin.
Pól Ó MurchúAug 11 2021, 3:57pmIt’ll also attract Koala bears but at least you won’t get ticks! :-)
Stuart ScottAug 11 2021, 4:10pmPol, does that mean you could skip the oil and just run with a koala bear?
Will Martin-SmithAug 11 2021, 5:39pmThanks for the advice folks. I'll look for some eucalyptus oil and / or pandas. I'll put the shoes in a bucket of boiled water and hope for the best!
Eoin Mac MahonAug 11 2021, 5:46pmFreezer
John MollohanAug 11 2021, 9:28pmHi Will,
I got Lyme disease from a tick bite in Kerry two years ago. I have first hand info on what to look out for after tick bites and how to treat it. My GP was pretty clueless (not his fault - just had no experience) so I had to go further afield. Call me if you think I can help in any way - 0 ate 7 one four five 6666.
Will Martin-SmithAug 13 2021, 6:48pmHi John, that's very good of you. I'm keeping an eye out for rashes and other symptoms. If anything develops I'll definitely get in touch.

In the end, I froze the shoes and then left them in hot water with lots of dettol for a night - hopefully that does the trick!
Richard RyanAug 13 2021, 10:37pmLess than half of people bitten by a lyme carrying tick develop a classic bullseye rash. Just so you are not going specifically by that.
Stuart ScottAug 16 2021, 12:15pmAll (earlier) joking aside, lyme disease is a very serious condition and all of us should regularly check for ticks after being out and about, both in the uplands and lowlands. There was a very scary and eye-opening programme on RTE called Living with Lyme a few years ago but unfortunately it's not on the player any more. As John says, not all GPs are aware so if you notice any unexplained symptoms following exposure to ticks it's important to raise the possibility with them. There's a wealth of information on
John MollohanAug 16 2021, 3:03pmRichard's point is very important Will. The only and only definite symptom associated with Lyme disease is a bulleye rash - red blotch with a pale circle around it. If you have that, as I did, you definitely have Lyme disease.
But not getting the rash means nothing. Lyme disease is called the "great imitator" becuause the other symptoms are all common to other possibilities. I was lucky I got the rash....! It proved I had Lyme and I was lucky enough that the Professor of Immunology and Contagious Disease in the Mater treated me. He is an expert in Lyme Disease for the UK and Ireland. He made it very clear to me that the only thing known with any certainty about Lyme is that you definitely have it if the get that rash. That rash is unique to Lyme. He told me that "everything"else said about Lyme is conjecture. There is very little concrete information available. His guesstimate was that about 10%/15% of ticks have Lyme but no one knows for sure and they are not even sure how it is transmitted.
He advised that the current "best method" to remove a tick is using a tick twister, very slowly - so as not to alarm the tick.
He explained to me that the best way to deal with Lyme after a tick bite is to take a three week course of antibiotics. This sounds a bit heavy handed, but if only half of people get a rash, then the other half would have to wait for a separate diagnosis from symptoms which are not clear, and they say it is harder to treat the longer you have it. He has some farmers on six months of antibiotics...
The ELISA and Western Blot tests are helpful but not at all conclusive.
The increasing exposure to the outdoors is pushing Lyme up the list of problems so doctors are definitely becoming more and more aware of what to look for, but the best line of defence is to cover up ... and they love braken/ferns so it's best to stay out of them