WALKERS heading into the countryside around East Renfrewshire are being advised to beware of the threat posed by biting insects that can cause Lyme disease.

Health experts say that, although the number of ticks infected with the bacteria that causes the disease is very low, precautions should be taken to avoid being bitten.

They suggest using an insect repellent on clothing and tucking trousers into socks before venturing into grassy or moorland areas, especially where there is livestock.

According to the NHS, the best way to remove a tick safety is by using fine-tipped tweezers or a tick-removal tool which can be bought from some pharmacies, vets and pet shops.

Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull upwards. After you have removed it, clean the bite with antiseptic or soap and water.