We disassemble 7 popular myths about ticks

Ticks live in trees and can fall by the collar of me

You have probably heard recommendations that you must definitely wear a cap or clothes with a hood in the forest, because ticks can jump on you from the trees. A hat really won't hurt you, except that ticks live in tall grass and in life do not rise to a height of more than a meter. Their favorite places are forest paths and paths, humid and shady places, ravines and the banks of forest streams.

Trapping its prey, the tick crawls onto a blade of grass or a bush, stretches its tenacious legs forward and waits. As soon as he senses the approach of an animal or a person - we are given out by carbon dioxide, which we exhale, the tick immediately grabs what touches him. Contrary to popular belief, ticks cannot jump. Once on the victim, the tick crawls upward in search of the most appetizing place. Often they choose the head and neck area, which is why such a myth could arise.


Until the tick has sucked in, you can easily shake it off your clothes, so when going into the forest, the uniform should be appropriate - a jacket with long sleeves and tight cuffs is tucked into pants, and those into socks or high shoes. It is better to choose light-colored clothing made of dense fabric, because it will be easier to notice an intruder on it. Be sure to wear a cap, scarf or hood, and hide your hair underneath so as not to leave a chance for ticks. In addition, it does not hurt to sprinkle things in advance with a repellent - a spray that will scare away ticks with its smell. Special clothing with anti-mite impregnation is also on sale.

Ticks are active only in spring when they wake up.

With the onset of the warm season, reminders sound here and there - you are going to the forest or for a barbecue, do not forget about anti-ticks, the season begins. But in the summer and closer to autumn, few people think that little bloodsuckers have not gone anywhere and can still cause you a lot of trouble. The peak of activity really falls on the end of April and the beginning of May: then the adolescent ticks with the beautiful name "nymphs" just wake up to drink your blood. Further, the activity of arthropods decreases, and the second rise is observed already in August-September.

In this case, you should be on your guard throughout the warm period, since ticks fall asleep only at a temperature of about 5 ° C, and this, depending on the area, may be in October or November. It should be borne in mind that mites are not very fond of heat, as well as torrential rains. So the most dangerous thing would be to go out into the forest in cool, cloudy weather, in the early morning or late evening (and the latter is generally a bad idea for many reasons).

There are dangerous ticks somewhere in Siberia, in the nearest forest I will not meet them

They write myths and legends about ticks, intimidate children and careless adults with them, but is it really possible to meet them in the nearest forest, and not somewhere in the taiga? Alas, more than real. And the arthropods themselves, with their 8 legs and frightening jaws, are not so scary as what they can infect you with through their bite. Tick-borne encephalitis virus, tick-borne borreliosis, tick-borne typhus, recurrent tick-borne typhus, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis - the list goes on and on, but you probably already felt uneasy. All these diseases are really very unpleasant and are found on the territory of our country.

The most dangerous, "endemic" territories, with a high probability of infection, are considered to be the regions from the middle zone - from the Kaliningrad region to the Primorsky Territory. You can find out about the situation in a specific region, for example, on a special Biocard , compiled according to Rospotrebnadzor data. Moscow and the Moscow region can be considered relatively safe with the level of "ticking" less than 10%. But this is not a reason to relax, as the climate changes, the endemic zones expand to the north, and infected ticks can migrate with the help of their carriers - birds and small rodents.


And in big cities, danger can come from where they did not expect, if the tick is brought into the house with a pet. So don't forget to check your pets regularly after your walks in nature.

Vaccination against ticks - reliable protection against infections

As mentioned earlier, ticks carry pathogens of many diseases that are dangerous to humans. The most famous of these is the tick-borne encephalitis virus, which, when ingested, infects the lining of the brain and the central nervous system of a person. Treatment of the cause of this disease is impossible, so medications only relieve symptoms so that the body can cope with the virus on its own.

The good news is vaccinations really do help. If you live in a potentially dangerous area or are going to visit it, it is worth getting vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis in advance. But, as the name suggests, it can only protect you from one disease.

The second most dangerous, but most common disease carried by ticks is borreliosis or Lyme disease. Its pathogens are bacteria that live in the intestines of the tick. When the tick begins to eat, borrelia, along with saliva, enter the human blood, spreading throughout the body.

This disease causes serious disorders of the nervous system, arthritis, disrupts the functioning of the heart, and causes problems with sleep and memory. There is still no vaccine for borreliosis, but it can be successfully treated early with antibiotics. Other infectious diseases, also dangerous, but more rare, cause fever, rash, muscle pain, and can affect the skin, liver, nervous system and other organs. The main rule is to avoid tick bites, and if such a nuisance does occur, remove the potential source of infection as soon as possible.

If a tick bites me, I will immediately notice

After making sure that ticks can pose a real danger, you go into nature fully armed, long-sleeved clothes are well tucked in and processed. It should be remembered that ticks, despite their influence, are very small. Adult mites can be the size of a sesame seed, in the nymph stage they do not exceed the size of a poppy seed, and the larvae are even smaller, it is very difficult to notice them.

They are often found in the most inaccessible places: on the back, in the groin and axillary region, on the neck and head. Tick ​​bites are usually painless, so you probably won't feel anything. The safest thing is to regularly examine yourself and loved ones for an enemy invasion, shaking off all suspicious objects from your clothes.

To make it easier to get the tick, you need to water it with vegetable oil.

There are many legends about the best way to get rid of a stuck tick. Someone advises pouring vegetable oil, gasoline, alcohol and other irritating substances on the bloodsucker, supposedly because of this, the tick will begin to suffocate and crawl out on its own. No matter how it is! This is not only ineffective, but really dangerous.

Deprived of oxygen or a poisoned tick will remain at the site of the bite, while more actively releasing all dangerous substances from its body. You can also not try to sharply stretch or squeeze out the tick, this will only increase the risk of infection. Your goal is to remove it from the skin as quickly and as accurately as possible. Tweezers or a special crowbar are best suited for these purposes, with which you need to pick up the tick as close as possible to the attachment point and carefully pull it out without pressing on it. It may happen that the tick proboscis remains in the wound - carefully remove it and treat the bite site with an antiseptic. And don't forget to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.


The tick must be removed carefully, without sudden movements, so as not to increase the risk of contracting tick-borne infections

The tick that bit me is best burned right away

The moment you managed to get rid of an extra claimant for your blood, you immediately want to get rid of it as soon as possible. But do not rush and resort to the Inquisition or attempts to drown the tick in alcohol or other liquid (by the way, they swim well). The best option would be to place it in a separate sealed container and take it to a laboratory for research in the next couple of days. It is not so easy to become infected with tick-borne borreliosis, for this the tick must suck for at least 12 hours (from 12 to 24 hours, according to various sources), but the encephalitis virus enters the bloodstream immediately.

Examination of the tick for the presence of pathogens will help to start prophylaxis in time and stop the development of the disease. If you do not have the opportunity to test the tick, it is really better to get rid of it, the main thing is not to crush it with your bare hands. For several weeks after the bite, it is worth observing your condition. If you develop a ring-shaped rash in the area of ​​the bite, fever and fever, see your doctor immediately. It is better not to carry out self-prophylaxis.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

About Author