Ticks now active nearly the whole year round in Germany

Ticks now active nearly the whole year round in Germany

With the weather in Germany gradually becoming milder and milder, ticks are increasingly able to remain active throughout the winter, research shows. Warmer winters also mean that other tropical species of ticks are beginning to spread across the federal republic. 

Tick season getting longer and longer in Germany

Rather than spending the winter dormant, ticks are increasingly active the whole year round in Germany, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer has reported. These parasites only really go dormant when it is colder than 5 degrees on several consecutive days, and so the warmer temperatures now seen in the autumn and winter months mean the tick season in Germany is getting much longer.  

As Pfizer writes in a press release, tropical ticks like the Hyalomma tick are also benefiting from improving living conditions in Germany as the winters get increasingly mild. Native to regions of Africa and western Asia, these ticks previously only came over to Europe in the spring with the first wave of migratory birds, but as recently as 2019 were discovered to have overwintered in Germany for the first time ever.

Hyalomma ticks are up to three times larger than native tick species and can carry dangerous diseases like the Crimean-Congo virus. Thankfully, though, their size makes them easier to detect and remove. 

Native tick species can also cause diseases like Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). More than 40 percent of urban and rural districts in Germany are now classified by the Robert Koch Institute as TBE risk areas

The best protection against ticks is prevention

However, since TBE can be transmitted immediately after a tick bites, the best protection is prevention: especially when walking in grassy or wooded areas, it’s advisable to wear long trousers and sleeves and wear a tick repellant spray. Anyone living in a TBE-risk area in Germany should also speak to their doctor about getting a TBE vaccination. 

As the tick season becomes longer and longer, preventative measures like these are important almost all year round. Tick bites should be avoided as far as possible, and you should check your body carefully after spending time outdoors. As Pfizer recently reported, ticks are not only present in the countryside in Germany, but also in urban areas and city parks



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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