A Devon woman is speaking out about the effects of tick bites after she contracted Lyme disease.
The effects of tick bites can be long-lasting
Since she was bitten Wendy Daurge, a teacher from Exeter, has suffered symptoms including Bell's Palsy, which paralysed half her face.
Most cases of the disease can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics but if left untreated the infection can spread to other parts of the body.
Ticks can be found in shrubs, undergrowth and grasses.
In the UK the rate of the disease is though to be rising and the effects can be long-lasting.
Mrs Daurge suffered a number of different symptoms before being diagnosed and at first thought she had a stroke.
"But a friend heard I'd not been well and asked if I had any distinguishing marks and I had certain rings on my legs and she suggested I went for a blood test."
Mark Seabright from Tick Alert said tick populations were growing.
"It's cumulative and average temperatures have been increasing over the past 20 years and it correlates with a growth in the tick populations both here in the UK and across Europe," he said.
Lyme disease can be hard to spot as it has a variety of symptoms, and can easily be mistaken for something else.
The most common symptom is a slowly expanding rash which spreads out from a tick bite, usually after about five to 14 days.
Typical symptoms also include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.
But it is difficult to treat if not caught quickly and Mrs Daurge is resigned to living with the symptoms for life and hopes that by speaking up about the illness others can avoid the risks.