As spring begins, the “tick time”. Ticks are active mainly from March to November. The parasites feed on the blood of their hosts, ie animals or humans. Because ticks can transmit disease, care should be taken on stings and particularly to protect themselves.

Encephalitis (encephalitis) is one of these diseases. TBE is a dangerous inflammation of the brain, meninges and spinal cord. “Every year, may suffer some 300 people in Germany in TBE. Against this disease can protect themselves by vaccination,” says Dr. Kirsten Reinhard, a doctor at the AOK Federal Association.


TBE occurs only in certain regions of Germany or other countries. “Tourists should therefore inquire before departure, even if you resort area is affected,” said Dr. Kirsten Reinhard. Who is more out there for professional reasons, and often staying in the forest, the vaccination is important. “People who are in a risk area and are at risk individual may be vaccinated preventively,” says Dr. Reinhard. The second tick-borne disease is Lyme disease. It is distributed worldwide. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria and is the most common tick-borne disease in Europe. “Until the appearance of clinical signs may take weeks after a tick bite. It is therefore always advisable to write down exactly when the tick was found,” the AOK health care professional.

Redness at the puncture site is typical of Lyme disease

A typical symptom of Lyme disease is a reddening of the skin around the sting site, which spreads slowly. After two to four weeks, fever, headache and body aches occur even later meningeal irritation and paralysis. Against Lyme disease in Germany there is no vaccine yet. The disease can be treated well, provided it has not progressed too far. The best protection against tick bites is the appropriate attire. The tip of the AOK expert: “The best possible light-colored clothing so ticks can be quickly detected. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants should cover the skin, the legs are inserted into the socks. The neck can be protected by a closed collar. ”

Ticks live in woods and bushy roadsides, in bushes, hedges and grass. Host-seeking ticks are usually located at a height of one to five feet of grasses, ferns and low branches. In adults, the ticks are therefore usually in the leg height, because of the animals crawl up and bite down firmly on the body of their host. They prefer areas with thin skin here and agencies under the arms, between his legs and behind the knees.

Body and clothing search

“If a tick bites firmly, does not hurt and is still not always noticed immediately. After their stay in the open you should scan every night absolutely body and clothing thoroughly for ticks,” says Dr. Kirsten Reinhard. “Every tick be removed as quickly as possible, because the risk of infection is greater, the longer the animal sucks blood.” For removal is the best special tick tweezers, which can for example buy in pharmacies.

With a twisting motion, you can pull the tick well. “In no case however, one must apply home remedies, and as oil or butter applied to the bite. Even the attempt to remove, ticks by squeezing or pressing, does more harm than good. It can tear the animal, “warns Dr. Kirsten Reinhard as the head of the tick is stuck in the skin should be accompanied by a doctor can be removed.