Active until mid-November
Don’t neglect tick protection, even in autumn
Mushroom picking, hiking, walking: In autumn, many people are drawn to nature. But beware: Ticks are still active in October.
The leaves shine in gold and orange tones, the days are getting significantly shorter, one thing is clear: autumn is here! But that is not an all-clear for the danger of ticks. Whether hiking, picking mushrooms or taking a leisurely autumn walk: If you spend a lot of time outdoors in autumn, you should continue to protect yourself from them and be careful.
Because the arachnids can transmit serious diseases such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). They usually lurk on bushes, hedges and shrubs or in tall grass, but of course also in autumn leaves. The danger of being infested by a tick is everywhere in nature, even in your own garden. Until around mid-November it is still warm enough for the animals to be active. What is the best way to protect yourself from bloodsuckers and what to do if you are bitten?
The right clothes
The most effective protection against ticks is the right clothing. In autumn temperatures, this shouldn’t be too difficult: High-necked tops with sleeves and long pants are a must for trips to the forest. Ticks do not migrate higher than 1.50 meters and therefore like to cling to the trouser leg.
Rubber boots are ideal footwear to keep ticks away. Alternatively, you can also tuck the pant legs into the socks. Open shoes should be avoided at all costs. Also: The lighter the clothing, the faster ticks can be spotted! The bloodsuckers find it harder to hold on to smooth fabrics.
Insect repellents or so-called repellents are intended to keep parasites such as ticks away. The active ingredients are applied to the skin and clothing. They come in the form of sprays, gels, or lotions. But be careful: the product only works for a few hours when applied. It should be applied to the skin more often, especially in the heat and heavy sweating.
In addition, tried and tested home remedies can keep ticks away. Thanks to its lauric acid, coconut oil has a deterrent effect on ticks – and also provides the skin with rich moisturizing care. Black cumin oil contains fatty acids, vitamins and essential oils, which the animals also find disturbing. However, according to experts, home remedies do not have the same effective effect as repellents.
When the walk is over, both humans and animals should be thoroughly checked for ticks. They often get stuck in the fur of dogs and cats and can easily migrate to humans. Free-roaming animals should also keep their distance from wild animals. If one of the parasites has bitten itself despite all protective measures, you should quickly remove it with appropriate pliers.
What to do with a tick bite?
If all the preparations have not helped and you discover a tick on your skin, then you should remove it as soon as possible. This can prevent the risk of infection with Lyme disease, since transmission does not take place until twelve to 24 hours after the sting. TBE, on the other hand, is transmitted immediately – only a vaccination helps.
To remove the animal, you need tweezers. It is important to pull the animal whole, straight and carefully out of the body. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) advisesBe careful not to smear oil or glue on the tick beforehand. This can irritate the animal and cause it to emit extra saliva. Then thoroughly disinfect the bite site.
If symptoms occur, a doctor should be consulted. Typical signs of a TBE infection are fever and headaches or body aches. In worse cases, the symptoms intensify, and then it can also lead to a stiff neck up to meningitis and damage to the nerve roots.