For the first time, hyalomma ticks from Africa and southern Europe have proven to winter in Germany. Six of the spidery giant ticks appeared after the recent hot days, five on a horse farm on the Lower Rhine and one on a horse in Lower Saxony, said the University of Hohenheim (Stuttgart) and the Munich Institute for Microbiology of the Bundeswehr on Tuesday.
"After the first evidence of this year, we must assume that these animals could overwinter here in Germany," said the Hohenheim parasitist and tick expert Ute Mackenstedt. However, wintering does not necessarily mean that the mites are already at home.
Big torso and striped legs
The hyalomma ticks come from the dry and semi-arid areas of Africa, Asia and southern Europe – from Spain to Italy to Turkey. Of the local ticks such as the common wood buck can be easily distinguished: they are up to two inches in length, much larger and have strikingly striped legs.Tropical giant tick Hyalomma tick Germany
So far, hyalomma ticks have been transported with migratory birds to Germany, where they could expand more in the view of the scientists this year. This year's finds were reported very early. "If you counted back the development cycle, they would have had to be brought in at a time when the migratory birds were not there yet."
Hyalomma ticks already in Germany since 2017
The hyalomma ticks can transmit dangerous pathogens, including the virus that causes Crimean Congo fever, which can be associated with severe bleeding. According to the Robert Koch Institute (Berlin), hyalomma ticks have been detected in Germany since 2017.
Last year, a total of 19 specimens were found in eight federal states (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein). According to the Institute, none of these ticks contained infectious agents such as the Crimean Congo virus.
"They notice that when it runs around you."
In 2018, two species of the genus Hyalomma were detected in Germany: H. marginatum and H. rufipes. So far, the species has not been determined in all of the now discovered ticks.
In any case, the so-called wooden buck as domestic tick species remains dominant, as Mackenstedt said. The transmitted by him pathogens can cause Lyme disease and TBE (tick-borne encephalitis). While the normal ticks are not easy to sift through as they cling to the human body, the human feels the attack of the hyalomma tick, says expert Mackenstedt: "It is much bigger, they notice that when it runs on you." Ticks – This summer you should be especially in front of the bloodsuckers
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