As you know, ticks are increasingly present in the Alps and the Dolomites are not exempt from this annoying problem.
Until recently they were endemic only in the northern part of the Alps (Austria and southern Germany), but then, due to the movement of deer with nomadic habits and other wildlife, they also came to us. Some also attribute this spread to climate change, even if we are not sure of this….
To date they are present on the territory in a not intense way, but it is difficult to evaluate a priori the presence that is manifested more and more concentrated in some areas linked to the intense movement of wildlife.
As with any other risk on the mountain, the best action is to prevent it appropriately, so let’s get to the point because, as we see in the following text: elude tick attacks is relatively simple and effective.
Basically, always avoid going hiking with short pants (better long and light), as well as avoid crossing areas with tall grass and finally sitting in the grass next to the path or placing the backpack on the ground to extract the water bottle or other. . These are the few indications regarding behaviors.
From a recent idea, there are several sound jammers on the market, there is an open discussion about how useful these are but many are very doubtful …
The classic liquid repellents are much more effective. In fact, ticks are very sensitive to mosquito repellents (Autan type), there are some on the market, however, some designed also or specifically for ticks that will certainly offer more adequate coverage.
You must always have a pack of repellent with you!
Focus your attention now on the following photos.
Before leaving for the excursion, spray the repellent on the outside and inside of the bottom of the pants and on the shoes.
Similarly on the arms (inside and outside).
On the inner dorsal side of your backpack.
And if you want to be picky even on the nape of the neck…. some say that ticks also fall from the low branches of trees …
Carry in your backpack, inside the first aid bag, a specific tweezers for ticks (commonly found in many pharmacies).
With these few and effective tricks you will be unattractive for ticks …….
But what if one or more ticks hit you?
Immediately or the same evening at home, take a good look at your body after a shower. Be careful because sometimes they are very small but they stand out well because they are dark dots protruding from the skin … do you have any doubts? grab a small lens and get ready for horror!
Stay calm…. now there are two solutions:
A) Go immediately to the emergency room of a nearby hospital to have it extracted…. Unfortunately you will wait a long time (time does not play in your favor) and then often hospital staff, if they have no experience in the matter, do not extract it from you with precautions (continue reading below).
B) Extract them yourself or with help from a trusted person. Warning… because this is the main cause of Lyme disease infection !!!!! (read below)
So this operation if you do it at home alone, requires a firm and decisive hand.
I recommend that you read up on medical sites about tick-borne diseases.
You must know that ticks are dangerous as they are carriers of various diseases among which the most common carried by ticks in the Alps are:
(A) Lyme disease is manifested by the presence of red halos on your skin around the point of attachment of the tick. If left untreated it can have long and severe effects. But if identified immediately and treated in a short time with targeted antibiotic courses, it can be very limited. If you are bitten by a tick it is important to identify it immediately and extract it correctly in order to reduce the probability of transmission, then for 2/3 weeks keep under close observation your skin around the point of attachment of the tick. If you see the presence of a red halo, run to the emergency room declaring to the doctor that you have been stung by a tick, wanting to be even more careful, as soon as you have identified the tick it is better to go immediately to the emergency room. They will prescribe a course of antibiotics right away so you can feel more comfortable.
(B) For TBE encephalitis only vaccination exists. It is a course of three injections with subsequent boosters. It is generally only recommended for people who work outdoors in a hazardous area. However, our health service in recent years has encouraged the spread of this vaccine for hikers as well. More information on tick-borne diseases can be read by opening the links in this text.
Lastly: don’t worry, I as mountain guide with 40 years of mountain activity.. had only 4 time attacks of tick…
I wish you nice and safe hiking tours!