Ticks in the also winter health experts are now advising on precautionary measures

Ticks in the also winter health experts are now advising on precautionary measures / Health News

Dangerous disease carriers: Protect against ticks even in winter

Some people think that ticks are basically not active in winter. That is a fallacy. The small animals are looking for a host after a few mild days. Ticks can transmit infectious diseases such as TBE and Lyme disease. Some tips can help to protect yourself from the bloodsuckers.

Carriers of dangerous diseases

Health experts repeatedly point out the importance of protecting yourself from ticks. The little bloodsuckers can eventually transmit dangerous infectious diseases such as tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) or Lyme disease. What many are not aware of: Ticks can be active during the winter months.

Some people think that ticks are generally inactive in winter. That is a fallacy. The small bloodsuckers can also transmit diseases during the winter months. Therefore you should definitely protect yourself. (Image: stockWERK / fotolia.com)

Mild winter hardly restricts ticks

The relatively mild winter hardly restricts ticks in their activity. Protective measures are therefore also recommended now, explains dr. Utta Petzold, allergologist at the health insurance Barmer, in a recent release.

"Many people think that ticks are generally inactive in winter. That is a fallacy. Because they can not only survive frost quite well, but look after a few mild days in search of a host. On the other hand, one should protect oneself, "says Petzold.

In winter, the insects look mainly under thick layers of leaves lying on the ground and in the undergrowth protection. But even cats and dogs could bring unwanted bloodsuckers from outside already in January and February.

The ticks would be active from temperatures of about seven degrees Celsius.

That's how you can protect yourself

One can protect oneself among other things with the anyway for the winter typical long clothes. It makes sense to use bright colors because the little crawlers are easier to spot on them. Sturdy footwear and socks pulled over the trouser legs made it difficult for ticks to enter.

Essential oils such as basil, mint or lavender worked only in sufficiently high concentration and thus usually too short. In addition to such natural agents, there are artificially prepared solutions, sprays or emulsions.

No matter which remedy one chooses, it always remains important to pay attention to the duration of action and possibly to refill it.

"After outdoor activities, you should also thoroughly search the body for ticks, especially soft and warm areas such as armpits, knees or groin," advises Petzold.

Act quickly after a tick bite

If you notice ticks on the body, you have to hurry. The animal should be removed as soon as possible.

It is important that "all parts of the tick are removed to prevent inflammation," writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on its website.

"To do this, you grab the tick with a pair of tweezers or a special tick-removing instrument near the surface of the skin, ie on your mouthparts (never on the soaked body!) And pull it out of the skin slowly and straight," it continues.

The tick should not be turned as far as possible and under no circumstances should it be drizzled with oil or glue before being removed. This would unnecessarily irritate the animal and could cause it to release its saliva and thus possible infectious agents ".

After removal of the tick, careful disinfection of the wound is recommended.

Check pets for ticks

Even pets who have been in nature, need special attention.

If a tick has been sucked into them, it must be gently removed and always kept, as an examination of the insect for possible pathogens allows the veterinarian a targeted treatment.

Also souvenirs from the forest or the meadow should be thoroughly inspected. For many a beautifully shaped piece of wood has turned out to be a "home" for a tick, according to Petzold. (Ad)