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Prevent tick bite (tick bite)

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 352 views

Anyone can get tick bite. However, people who spend time in the forest or high grass in summer are particularly at risk. Ticks can transmit diseases through the bite. Therefore, you should remove the tick and observe the tick bite. Read everything you need to know about tick bites here.

ICD codes for this disease:

ICD codes are internationally valid codes for medical diagnoses. They can be found, for example, in doctor’s letters or on certificates of incapacity for work.

A84 A68

Tick ​​bite: description

A tick bite is colloquially often called a tick bite. This is not correct as ticks have a stinging apparatus and not a biting apparatus. They cut the skin of the host animal with their mouthparts. They then stab with a tongue-like device to suck blood.

the tick

Ticks are arachnids. They have eight legs and are three to four millimeters in size. When they suck blood, they can grow up to an inch and a half. They have a rounded body with a dorsal shield and a small head on which the mouthpart sits. This allows them to suck blood – as parasites (parasites), ticks need various animal species or people as a source of food.

Ticks hatch from eggs as larvae, then grow into so-called nymphs and finally develop into adult ticks. They feed on blood at all stages, except for male adult ticks – these do not feed on blood. Adult females lay eggs after their last blood meal.

Tick ​​bite: Where are ticks lurking?

Ticks become active on spring and summer days at temperatures from around 10°C, ie between March and November in our latitudes. Their main activity is in May and June and in September and October. They prefer to bite mid-morning and early evening.

Ticks mainly live along the roadside, in tall grass, in undergrowth and undergrowth. People can encounter them both when staying in the forest – for example when jogging , cycling, hiking or camping – as well as in the garden when playing or working.

tick areas

You can find out in which areas of Germany ticks are widespread under Tick areas .

Tick ​​bite: symptoms

You can find out how to recognize a tick bite in the article Tick Bite: Symptoms .

Tick ​​bite: causes and risk factors

Ticks have a sensory organ in their front pairs of legs, the Hallersche organ. This allows them to perceive their surroundings and detect potential victims through vibrations, body heat and scents. If an animal or human touches the blade of grass on which the tick is sitting, it attaches itself to it with its stapler. The widely held view that ticks can fall or jump from trees is incorrect.

Once a tick gets on a host’s skin, it first pricks a pit. This then fills with the victim’s blood and the tick sucks from it for hours to days. She uses her saliva to inject an analgesic substance into the skin so that those affected do not notice the sting.

Tick ​​bite: how to protect yourself?

There are a number of things you can do to ensure good protection against ticks:

Be sure to wear sturdy shoes with long socks when hiking or walking in the forest . It is also advisable to wear long pantsand tuck them into your socks. In this way, the tick does not find skin to bite and can be found and removed more quickly. Worn clothing should then be washed at 60°C or tumble dried.

Use insect repellentrepellents (repellents), such as those used against mosquitoes, for example. They change the body odor, temperature and moisture of the skin. As a result, ticks can no longer locate people. The duration of action of the repellents is limited. In addition, you should not only moisten free skin such as your arms with them, but also your clothes and your head.

If ticks are present in your area, you can prevent them from reproducing by treating your dogs and cats with pet tick repellents throughout the season . This prevents the female ticks from sucking blood and then laying eggs.

You should also design your garden in such a way that ticks do not find suitable living conditions there. Cut meadows, grasses and hedges short and eliminate damp spots.

tick vaccination

Since a tick bite can transmit diseases, vaccination is recommended. You can find out more about this under tick vaccination .

Tick ​​bite: investigations and diagnosis

If you have or suspect a tick bite, see your GP. You should have a child’s tick checked by a pediatrician. The doctor will first ask you about your medical history (anamnesis). He will ask you the following questions, among others:

  • Have you been walking in the woods or tall grass lately?
  • Have you removed an animal from your skin?
  • When did you first notice the sting?
  • Do you have pain at the injection site?
  • Do you feel exhausted or do you have a fever?
  • Are you vaccinated against TBE ?
  • Can you move your arms and legs normally?

Your doctor will then examine you physically. First he takes a close look at the tick bite. He pays attention to whether a tick or another animal can be seen. He then looks around the area around the bite and looks for redness, swelling, warmth and pain. He also scans nearby lymph nodes, among other things.

Your doctor may take blood from you. If diseases were transmitted with the tick bite, the pathogens can be detected in the blood sample. In addition, possible reactions of your immune system to the pathogens can be determined in the blood.

Usually, the tick that bit you is not checked for possible pathogens. Because even if a tick carries Borrelia or TBE viruses, for example, this does not necessarily mean that it has transmitted these pathogens to you.

Tick ​​bite: You should pay attention to this yourself

If you have been in the woods or in tall grass, for example on a walk or picnic, you should check your body for ticks afterwards. Ticks usually crawl up the legs, but they can also be found on any other part of the body. They prefer protected areas of skin to avoid being found and removed by their host. Therefore, if necessary, they crawl around on your body for several hours until they have found a suitable spot. They often bite behind the knees or under the arms. A tick bite on the head is also possible.

Small children and school children are often affected by a tick bite because the offspring like to be in forests and meadows. Therefore, check your children for possible tick bites if they have been outdoors during the warm season.

Remove tick

For what to do if you spot a tick on your body, read tick removal .

Tick ​​bite: treatment

You can find out how a tick bite is treated under Tick bite – what to do?

Tick ​​bite: course of the disease and prognosis

In most cases, the prognosis for a tick bite is good. A tick should be removed quickly and gently. This reduces the risk of inflammation and disease transmission twice over.

On the one hand, longer-term consequences of a tick bite occur more frequently the longer the tick has time to suck blood, on the other hand, incorrect removal of the tick promotes infection. Pulling it out roughly can crush the tick and push the tick’s gastric juice into the bloodstream. This is how Borrelia, which multiply in the stomach of infected ticks, get into the human organism, where they can trigger Lyme disease.

tick diseases

Not every tick bite results in a disease, but the animals can transmit pathogens ( viruses or bacteria) when they bite. Possible diseases transmitted by ticks are:

  • TBE (tick borne encephalitis)
  • Lyme disease
  • tick bite fever
  • Boutonneuse fever
  • Human granulocytic Ehrlichiosis

In some cases tick paralysis occurs. This refers to signs of paralysis on the body, which often recede quickly. Such paralysis after a tick bite occurs only rarely in Germany; it is distributed on continents other than Europe.

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