Ticks are now active across the whole of Germany, Stuttgart research finds

Ticks are now active across the whole of Germany, Stuttgart research finds

Gone are the days when a trip to Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria meant a visit to the doctor to get your tick jag. Now, the beasties are indiscriminately active across Germany, research in Stuttgart has found.

Experts say ticks are active across Germany

The past few years have seen a dramatic change in how the tick season works in Germany. 2019 marked the first time that giant tropical ticks spent the winter in the federal republic and researchers have been adding new regions to the “tick-risk zone map” ever since.

Now, parasitologists in Stuttgart have found that no region in Germany can be considered completely safe when it comes to ticks, warning of a nationwide risk of TBE. “The whole of Germany has become an endemic area for TBE,” parasitologist Ute Mackenstedt of the University of Hohenheim explained. However, according to Mackenstedt, there are still “significant regional differences”. 

At the moment, only people who live in an already established tick-risk area or plan to travel to one can get the cost of a TBE vaccine covered by their health insurance provider

TBE cases in Germany are on the decrease, but long-term trends say something different

While the tick-risk zone has spread, the number of TBE cases in the federal republic has fallen. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there were 527 cases in 2023 compared to 627 in 2022. That said, the parasitologists in Stuttgart warned that the “longer-term trend is pointing upwards”. 

In Germany, if you are bitten by a tick and develop symptoms of TBE (FSME in German) such as fever, tiredness and muscular aches, you are obliged to report your case to a doctor. If you have spent time in areas with long grass or woodlands it is always advisable to check your skin and hair for ticks afterwards.

While most tick bites are harmless, especially if a tick is removed quickly and properly, ticks which stay attached to a person for longer periods can transmit Lyme disease, which can spread to the joints, heart and central nervous system.

Thumb image credit: Jojoo64 /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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