Ticks live in trees or grass

Ticks in the garden - avoid shrubs and bushes

For many years it has been believed that ticks sit on trees in the leaves. It was believed that ticks would then fall on their host, i.e. a person or a dog. For this reason it was assumed that one would be protected from ticks in the open field or in a meadow without trees. It has now been proven that ticks are rarely found above 1.50 m. That is, they sit on grass and in the bushes on the leaves.

How do ticks develop and how do they get into the garden?

After hatching, ticks go through three different stages of development: from larva to nymph to fully grown ticks. For each of these three developmental steps, the tick needs blood, which it gets from a host. A single adult tick lays up to 3,000 eggs in the garden, which means that the life cycle of the pests begins again.

Mice are one of the main hosts of ticks and only through rodents do the ticks get into the home garden. Unfortunately, mice are not very clean animals and often carry pathogens such as TBE or Lyme disease

yourself. By sucking blood, the ticks also become infected with the pathogens, which means that the next bite can be life-threatening for humans.

The danger lurks in the undergrowth

Even today, many people believe that ticks only live on trees in the forest. This can quickly prove to be a fatal error after a stab. Ticks do not jump on the host's body. Your legs are not designed to jump. While ticks can move on the skin of a person or animal in search of a suitable place to bite, they cannot jump on a person over a great distance from the leaf (the name wooden tick is a bit misleading here). The tick gets to the host by being picked up by him. By walking across meadows and brushing bushes as they go by, people unconsciously pick up the tick.

Ticks only live in bushes, undergrowth and tall grass. Today scientists have found out that the danger of ticks in home gardens is far too often underestimated: People who work in the garden very often and touch grass, bushes and shrubs have a much greater risk of developing Lyme disease than, for example, joggers who are regularly active in the forest. These scientists have also found that, on average, every fifth tick can transmit Borrelia.

What makes ticks so dangerous?

As soon as a person touches grass, shrubs and bushes, ticks can be stripped off unnoticed. In most cases these then crawl around on the clothing or on the skin of the person for a long time before they have found a suitable place and bite into it. Since blood loss is minimal when a tick bites, many people only notice the bite when it is already too late. The minimal blood loss is not a problem for the affected people, if it weren't for the pathogens mentioned above.

When working in the garden or when playing on the lawn, it is therefore very important not to have any free parts of the body (for example, pull your socks over your trouser legs). It is also advantageous to wear light-colored clothing, as a small, dark tick is easier to see on light-colored clothing. Anyone who has trimmed their bushes or keeps mown grass should therefore best wear gloves and check their hands and arms regularly; hands, arms, neck and head should be checked, especially after finishing work. Children should not walk barefoot across the lawn if possible, but always wear socks and sturdy shoes. Again, you should try the possible

Examine parts of the body carefully in the evening.

The preventive measures at a glance:
  • Wearing long-sleeved, light-colored tops and light-colored long trousers (this way the ticks do not come into contact with the skin as quickly and are easier to see on the light-colored fabric)
  • Socks should be pulled over the pant legs
  • After gardening, the entire body should be searched carefully (particular attention should be paid to the neck, head, hollows of the knees, armpits and the crotch)

To the chagrin of many gardeners, the usual protective measures must be taken even in summer temperatures.

What to do if a tick has bitten anyway?

If, despite long clothing and despite a thorough examination, a tick has bitten, it should be removed as soon as possible. To remove the tick safely and correctly, it is best to follow these four tips:

  • Never use nail polish remover, gasoline or alcohol (the tick will come off faster this way, but the transmission of Borrelia will increase dramatically).
  • Only after removing the tick, disinfect the affected area with alcohol or an ointment containing iodine.
  • If the tick is in a hard-to-reach place, a second person should be asked for help.
  • After the first tick is found, the search should continue, after all, a person can be bitten by several ticks without any problems.
  • If you are not sure how best to remove the tick, you should definitely consult a doctor.