Ticks are small, spider-like animals. When the temperature rises above 7°C they become active. They can crawl from high grass or bushes on to passing animals or humans and attach themselves to their skin to suck blood. A tick bite is usually harmless and painless, but ticks can be infected with diseases which can be transmitted to humans. Examples of these include Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, African tick bite fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and scrub typhus.
Infections caused by ticks occur all over the world. The main risk in Europe is for Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis.
Stay on the footpaths and do not walk through long grass.
Do not camp at the edge of the forest or campsite.
Cover your body with clothing:
- Tuck the legs of your trousers into your socks.
- You can also wear clothing that has been impregnated with permethrin.
- Wear sturdy, high-fitting shoes.
- Ensure that young children wear a cap when walking outdoors.
- Wear light-coloured clothing so that ticks are easier to see.
Inspect the whole body systematically after walking in nature:
- Behind the ears
- Seam of the buttocks
- Backs of knees
- Between the toes
If you are camping, inspect your body at least once a day.
Also inspect your clothing. Remove ticks by washing the clothes at sixty degrees or placing them in the tumble-dryer for fifteen minutes.