NÜRNBERGER LAND (Andrea Pitsch / Magdalena Mock) – One could almost quote from this theme from the New Year’s Eve classic “Dinner for one”: “The same procedure as every year”. Because when it gets warmer outside, the danger of ticks increases. But this is not only due to an increase of the animals, but above all to the behavior of humans.
“People are now bitten more often, because they are more out there, and even easier clothed” , explained Dr. Uwe Drochner from the health department at Laufer district office. In principle, one could catch a tick in January, especially because the winters are getting milder and the bloodsuckers better survive, so Drochner.
Because the animals belonging to the order of the mites like heat, too long dryness does not do them so well, knows Herbert Niedermayer from the Office for Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry in Hersbruck: “By nature, ticks are quite resistant to the weather.”
The forestry expert has the impression that the risk of ticks is not as bad as the past years. “You should always be careful when it is wet and the dew is fresh in the grasses” , warns Niedermayer. Ticks especially like to stick in kniehohem scrub on: “They are most likely to be found in a herbaceous layer 80 centimeters to one meter high.” These stains should be avoided for your own protection, he advises. Open forest soil or nature-rejuvenated areas, however, are far less dangerous.
Pets as a tick taxi
For pet owners, however, the danger lurks in their own house or garden. Dogs and cats often bring ticks from their raids or the last walk home. The fur of the animals grazing through the high grass and shrubbery is ideal as a tick taxicab. If the parasite has not yet bitten down, it can easily switch from its four-legged host to its owner, for example when stroking.
Caution should also be exercised when the ticks are already completely soaked and have fallen off the host animal. These will look for a new source of food after digesting the aspirated blood. They should be disposed of accordingly.
Carriers of diseases
Ticks are transmitters of diseases. The most common infection in the dog is Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, the latter is also dangerous for cats. Unlike humans, however, dogs have a borreliosis vaccine. Who wants to protect his pets and should also pay attention to preventive tick defense. “For dogs and cats, there are treated collars and spot-ons, with which the agent drips directly onto the skin of the animals. These agents kill or repel ticks. Also very effective are tablets. However, they are only suitable for dogs and have a strong killing effect on the parasite ” explains veterinarian Dr. Dietrich Mock from Altdorf the possibilities.
“Home remedies such as lemon oil or garlic are not ineffective, but unfortunately are not enough for a comprehensive protection.” Furthermore, it is recommended to thoroughly search his four-legged roommate for ticks before they enter the house again. To offer a fine brush or a Flokamm special. “Anyone who works conscientiously can comb up to ten or twelve ticks from their fur after walking” says Mock. “That will bring something.”
Lyme disease and TBE
People can also become infected with diseases through an untreated tick bite: Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). In the latter, so the meningitis, it could lead to heavy progressions, emphasizes Drochner. In 2017, the health service registered five cases of FSME, 2018 it was one. In the case of Lyme disease, the numbers are significantly higher at 44 (2017) and five (2018).
“When reporting cases, the district principle applies” explains Drochner, “Not where, you caught the ticks, but where you live” , While you can get vaccinated against FSME, that does not work for Lyme disease. “If you are out there, you should get vaccinated” advises Drochner, “So you can prevent a disease” , And what about the vaccine morale in the district? “We can only read that from the examination of the schoolchildren.” In the school year 2014/15, 38 percent were vaccinated against FSME – that is slightly more than the Bavaria-wide average of 34 percent.
Look in Impfpass
“Every five years vaccine protection has to be renewed” says Drochner and coquettishly: “Maybe that would be a reason to look again at the vaccine book.” Despite vaccination, everyone should check the body for ticks after spending time in nature. Normally, the small animals are red-brownish and soaked, but there are also white specimens, as Drochner has recently seen.
Anyone who discovers a bloodsucker should pull it out with ticks or tweezers close to the skin in one piece is the tip of Drochner. And do not wait long: “The longer a tick sucks, the greater the likelihood that pathogens will be transmitted.” ap / mm