FAQ: «Tick and Diseases»

What is the life cycle of a tick?

  • three life stages: larvae, nymph and adults
  • 3000 to 5000 eggs / larvae
  • Life-span between 3 and 6 years; dependent on climate and food supply.
  • 3 blood meals

The development of the larva to adult tick consists of 3 steps: The tick larva hatches from the egg, develops into a nymph and finally becomes a male or female tick. At every stage in its development the tick consumes a blood meal, when they anchor for several days to their host’s skin and suck blood. Ticks feed on the blood of mammals (humans), rodents, birds, reptiles and amphibians. During feeding the tick’s body swells up and becomes spherical. Once the tick is full, it lets itself fall to the ground, where it digests the blood meal and molts to the next stage. Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that transmit various diseases such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)

How do I remove a tick quickly and correctly?

Never treat ticks with oil, butter or glue before removing!

Ticks that are treated with the aforementioned substances slowly suffocate and release more viruses (TBE) and bacteria (Lyme disease) in their death throes. Remove the tick quickly and check the puncture site for a few days. If symptoms such as headaches or joint pain, skin rashes or flu-like symptoms are present after the tick bite, a doctor should be consulted.

  1. Grip the tick with tapered tweezers as near to the puncture site as possible.
  2. Pull uniformly and vertically from the puncture site. Pull the tick out without, twisting it, tilting it sideways or crushing the body.
  3. Disinfect the puncture wound.

What influence does climate have on the occurrence of ticks?

The weather, whether hot or cold, has a clear impact on how the tick population develops. However, this hardly changes the risk for humans. The weather during the warmer months is crucial. If the weather is often sunny and warm people spend more time outdoors and as a result expose themselves more to ticks. If it is more cloudy and rainy, people prefer to stay at home. When more people are engaged in outdoor activities, the most tick bites are registered.

Do ticks fall from trees on to their victims?

Firstly, ticks attach to their hosts/humans as they brush past, secondly, ticks live close to the ground and rarely climb more than a meter in height. Because ticks only cover short distances, they usually stay close to the ground, and lie in wait on grasses, bushes and in the herbaceous layer for a host to provide their next meal of blood.

Can I only be infected with a tick-borne disease in high-risk areas?

TBE risk areas are often indicated on tick risk maps. These are areas where a particular high percentage of ticks carry the tick-borne encephalitis pathogen. Tick-borne disease pathogens can be transmitted wherever ticks occur.

Is the vaccination effective against all tick-borne diseases?

The vaccination provides effective protection against infection with the tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus. The vaccination provides no protection against infection with the Lyme disease bacterium.

Only suitable clothing, the use of repellents and checking for ticks during and after outdoor activities are effective.

A&K Strategy GmbH
ZHAW Life Sciences und Facility Management
Grüental, 8820 Wädenswil
Kontakt: +41 58 934 56 77

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