We will be in rural areas in Bavaria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. We will be wearing bug repellant with DEET, but should we take more serious precautions against TBE?
Yeah, I know, James. Not the first fearful Canadian on the board, either. I blame our Prime Minister.
I live in an area where Lyme Disease is a big problem. From experience I can tell you the best thing you can do to to prevent ticks is not wear shorts, and not be in areas where wild animals congregate.
For more tips check this out:
The incidence is extremely low, even among farm workers. Avoid livestock, and don't wear shorts when you hike. You'll be fine.
Generally speaking yes, you should be aware of ticks. But the chances of you getting bitten by a tick is as high as getting bitten by a rattle snake in Arizona... Buy a local bug repellant as they're always made to protect against the local kind of insects. Don't wear sandals but leather sneakers, boots etc. when in the bushes. After a hike thru the bushes check the hollows of your knees, the in between of your toes and your groin for ticks. IF you see one, only remove it with a special tick pincer!!!
Wonderful. One more item to add to the "Things to Fear" list, along with mosquitoes, transportation strikes in Paris, soft drinks with no ice, deep vein thrombosis, rooms without air conditioning, encounters with people who speak no English and highways with signs in a foreign language.
No more serious than what you’ve already described and what you might normally do while hiking at home. The level of risk associated with contracting TBE anywhere in Europe is probably no greater than getting Lyme disease around Edmonton (although you could get Lyme disease in Europe, too). There are ticks in both places, and they carry pathogens. I would recommend using the same precaution and prevention measures you would use when going out into the countryside at home. This assumes you’re going to be walking across tall grass meadows, through heavy forests with a lot of underbrush, etc. in areas known to have tick infestations. If you’re just going to be in small villages in rural areas, I don’t see any need for the precaution and prevention measures mentioned.
Ah, James and Norma....now experts on tick-borne encephalitis! Great to see your helpful responses ;)
Norm, our expertise knows no bounds. It is truly a gift.
Norma you forgot to list swine flu~~~~
I love the conversation that this question inspired :-)
OMG! Does this mean men in Bavaria no longer wear lederhosen because they are afraid of ticks?? Are ticks in Austria, too? That final scene in "Sound of Music" would not have been as moving if they all had long pants on and were spraying bug repellent.
(Is is leder, lieder, or leider? I can never remember.)
Well, I have to admit that the reason I posted this question was that my boss' sister died of TBE last year (which is tick-borne, but very different from lyme disease, I must add). So...I do see it as a real concern. Any more advice?
TBE and Lyme Disease are indeed completely different disorders, but are transmitted in the exact same manner: being bitten by a tick. Which is why I thought posting ways to prevent LD might be helpful...you're welcome.
Lederhosen = leather pants
Liederhosen = song pants
Leiderhosen = sorry pants
Ok, everyone seems to assume that ticks hang out on the ground and crawl on you. Well, guess what. They actually climb trees and shrubs and wait for a large warm-blooded animal to come along and then fall on it. While not wearing shorts sounds like great advice, even better would be to wear a broad-brimmed hat and a long-sleeved shirt if you are going to be hiking anywhere that it is pretty dense. And no, I'm not trying to be funny. Ever since my Camp Fire Girl days I have hated to brush my head against low-hanging tree branches. Having said all of that, remember that ticks do not immediately latch on. Carefully checking yourself (and having your partner check your hair and back for you) after hiking is much better than slathering yourself with poisons.
More specifically, ticks posture themselves on the tips of grass, bushes, trees, etc. and locate hosts by sensing carbon dioxide, heat, and movement in order to get a really good blood meal necessary for egg production. How’s that for a travel tip?