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Old 08.05.2021, 13:34
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Ticks in Switzerland

Hi everybody,

I recently moved to Switzerland and have discovered that almost every Canton is a risk area for ticks, which is really a surprise for me. I'm glad that there is a vaccine for one of the diseases, but overall, I'm a bit concerned since I really like to go hiking.
I still think that is not a big problem because I didn't hear stories about ticks from people, and a lot of persons are still going hiking, so maybe ticks are not that common.

Is there a way for a country to defeat this problem or at least decrease it?

May I ask you feedbacks/ stories about this topic, and should I be concerned going hiking? Thanks
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Old 08.05.2021, 13:46
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

Yes, ticks are a issue to be aware of in most areas of Switzerland, this year seems to be especially bad.

Ticks should not stop you from going hiking, though. You should, however, take sensible precautions whenever out and about.

I hike in long trousers and long sleeves - light colored loose cotton - so that I have minimum exposure to ticks. If in an area where ticks are especially problematic I tuck my trouser legs into my socks. I avoid walking through long grass areas when possible.

I have been vaccinated*, and before setting off on a hike I put on anti-tick spray. I keep tick pullers in my hiking first aid kit. After a hike, I check for ticks.

I've only been bitten by a tick once in 20 plus years - and I picked that one up in my own garden.

However, it's a constant issue with my dogs. I use anti-tick prophylactic meds regularly, and do a careful fingertip search after any outing. I've pulled dozens off Robin Goodfellow this year alone - and it's only May. As above, this year seems particularily bad.

Bottom line - be sensible, but don't let worry about ticks stop you from enjoying the great Swiss outdoors.

Happy hiking!


ETA re: Vaccination:

The vaccine available in Switzerland is against FSME (tick born encephalitis). There is no vaccine authorised in Switzerland against Lyme-Borreliose.

Last edited by meloncollie; 08.05.2021 at 14:30.
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  #3  
Old 08.05.2021, 13:48
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

Bug spray. Check yourself and your pets after a walk.
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Old 08.05.2021, 13:50
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

Ticks are very common. If you go hiking in the woods, it is a good idea to check yourself over afterwards. Wear long pants, sticking the bottoms into your socks also helps, especially if you are going into bushy areas. There is also tick spray available. We use it whenever we go into the forest during spring and summer and have never had any. My daughters friend did just recently get one after doing an orientation run with school in the woods, but they did have to go into the undergrowth.
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Old 08.05.2021, 15:48
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

I had to get used to it.

Soon after moving here I planned a trip to Africa and went to the clinic to update my shots. The doctor was very relaxed as he saw that I moved here from south east Asia and I already had everything I needed and he just had to prescribe some malaria pills.

Then he suddenly went wait, you live near Zuriberg!. Nevermind Africa, you live in a dangerous area! Then he told me all about ticks and gave me the shots for that!

Then I went golfing, went to look for my ball in the long grass and my Swiss playing partner hollered out to be careful in the long grass. I jumped out thinking snakes! He said not snakes, ticks! Since then Ive been careful.

Hiking, golfing, all ok, just remember to check for ticks when youre done, and get the shots.
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Old 08.05.2021, 16:16
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

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Is there a way for a country to defeat this problem or at least decrease it?
There's only one sure fire way.

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Old 08.05.2021, 16:34
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

I live in a high tick risk area. This year it seems about average: our cat has 2 or 3 a week from our garden and the woods opposite.

I walk with shorts - as I have today - but keep well out of long grass and always check after a walk/hike. Anti-brum will keep off flies and most ticks.

I have removed one tick from my Partner and never been bitten myself in 32 years here. Weve been vaccinated.

So, be careful and dont worry!
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Old 08.05.2021, 17:28
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

Switzerland is a little anti-pesticide at the moment. Dont expect any miracles from that front.
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Old 08.05.2021, 17:58
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

Basically, global warming is to be blamed.
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Old 08.05.2021, 22:43
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

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Hi everybody,

I recently moved to Switzerland and have discovered that almost every Canton is a risk area for ticks, which is really a surprise for me. I'm glad that there is a vaccine for one of the diseases, but overall, I'm a bit concerned since I really like to go hiking.
I still think that is not a big problem because I didn't hear stories about ticks from people, and a lot of persons are still going hiking, so maybe ticks are not that common.

Is there a way for a country to defeat this problem or at least decrease it?

May I ask you feedbacks/ stories about this topic, and should I be concerned going hiking? Thanks
I‘ve run/walked in the forests above Zurich at least 3 times a week over the past 4 years. Never had a problem. My common sense tells me however (like every year) that I should actually pop into the local pharmacy to get an appointment for a quick vaccination. In-fact, I might well do that this year.

With dogs though, you do need to pay special attention if they love rummaging around.
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Old 08.05.2021, 23:22
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

Thanks everybody for the answers!

So basically after a walk/ hike is better to check yourself to see if there is a tick on you. But being so small, if I miss it, that thing will still be attached to me without my knowledge? I mean, does it hurt after a while?
I just want to prevent being infected or at least being able to go to the doctor in time, and I'm worried that I may miss being bit and that can cause some serious problems if not treated in time.

I was so ready to check every beautiful hiking spot in Switzerland, I guess I will stick to the lake
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Old 08.05.2021, 23:45
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

Never found one on me, but regularly on my dog. Get vaccinated, you dont want encephalitis.
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Old 08.05.2021, 23:49
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

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I was so ready to check every beautiful hiking spot in Switzerland, I guess I will stick to the lake
Honestly, there is no need to forgo hiking. Everyone here is saying the same thing: Enjoy hiking, just follow some sensible precautions.

To sum up the suggestions in this thread:

1. Get the FSME vaccine - it's IIRC three shots, protects for 10 years.

2. Use Anti-Brumm spray, avialable at any Apotheke, perhaps even in grocery stores as well:
https://www.antibrumm.ch/produkte/an...-zecken-stopp/

3. Carry a tick puller:

Easiest to use IME is O'Tom's:
https://www.zooplus.ch/shop/hunde/hu...enzange/270776

Another handy gadget is a tick puller with LED light. A bit more fiddly, but handy in low light conditions:
https://www.zooplus.ch/shop/hunde/hu...enzange/676096

(Yes, I buy my tick pullers from pet stores. They work just as well on humans.)

4. Wear long sleeves, long trousers, tuck trouser legs into your socks, wear close-toed shoes.

5. Stay out of undergrowth if possible

6. Check for ticks after an outing.

7. Discuss your concerns with your GP so that you understand what to look for in a tick bite, and what to do if you get one, and when it might be necessary to seek treatment.



Why give up hiking in this beautiful country when sensible, relatively easy precautions can help to minimize risk?
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Old 09.05.2021, 00:14
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

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Thanks everybody for the answers!

So basically after a walk/ hike is better to check yourself to see if there is a tick on you. But being so small, if I miss it, that thing will still be attached to me without my knowledge? I mean, does it hurt after a while?
I just want to prevent being infected or at least being able to go to the doctor in time, and I'm worried that I may miss being bit and that can cause some serious problems if not treated in time.

I was so ready to check every beautiful hiking spot in Switzerland, I guess I will stick to the lake
Really - don‘t know you, but don‘t even think twice about it before going hiking here! It‘s so beautiful!

It‘s not something most Swiss even think about - my dogs had far greater problems in the UK than here! None of my Swiss friends (I’m Swiss) get jabs - but they are easily available if you want it or are at an exposed level of risk.

You can, if you want to be super cautious about it, get jabs in many Apotheken, or at your doctors. I don‘t, even though I‘m in the forest almost daily. I also don‘t take precautions, but do realise that it might be a good precaution. I think about it every year and don‘t do it, well maybe this year has opened my eyes a bit to the value of vaccinations - just in case.
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Old 09.05.2021, 14:46
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

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Its not something most Swiss even think about - my dogs had far greater problems in the UK than here! None of my Swiss friends (Im Swiss) get jabs - but they are easily available if you want it or are at an exposed level of risk.

You can, if you want to be super cautious about it, get jabs in many Apotheken, or at your doctors. I dont, even though Im in the forest almost daily. I also dont take precautions, but do realise that it might be a good precaution. I think about it every year and dont do it, well maybe this year has opened my eyes a bit to the value of vaccinations - just in case.
"Most Swiss [don't] even think about it" because they are vaccinated. It is not a matter of being "super cautious". It just makes sense to get the vaccination, since FSME is not curable (you can only treat the symptons):

"In 5 to 15% of patients, the central nervous system is affected after a symptom-free period, with symptoms such as headaches, photophobia, dizziness, and impaired concentration and walking. These can last for weeks to months. In some patients, paralysis of the arms, legs or facial nerves may occur and lead to permanent disability. In approximately 1% of cases with neurological symptoms, the disease leads to death."
https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/de/home...lick/fsme.html
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Old 09.05.2021, 15:29
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

We were near interlaken at easter and the dog got a tick everyday .. Short grass, on a well groomed camping site!! One of them was right on its asshole, i let the wife deal with that one.

The kids were playing on the same grass and stayed tick free..

We don't seem to have any near home even though we're surrounded by fields of cows and we're in there everyday.
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Old 09.05.2021, 15:32
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

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We were near interlaken at easter and the dog got a tick everyday .. Short grass, on a well groomed camping site!! One of them was right on its asshole, i let the wife deal with that one.

The kids were playing on the same grass and stayed tick free..

We don't seem to have any near home even though we're surrounded by fields of cows and we're in there everyday.
We get monthly tick tablets from the vet now. Since doggo been taking them weve never found an imbedded tick, only crawling on his fur!
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Old 09.05.2021, 16:30
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

Lyme disease isn't fun. But if you catch it early, it's entirely treatable. It is all over Europe - as are ticks.

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Old 09.05.2021, 17:34
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

http://www.apotheke-thalwil.ch/servi...pfung-faq.html

After seeing this topic I googled a bit and found this link.
Basically, Lyme disease is treatable, you just have to come to the doctor if you notice symptoms.
And FSME is only preventable but not treatable, so yeah, makes sense to think about the vaccination.

However, vaccine itself also bears some risk, I just couldn't figure out if the symptoms are for life or up to several months? Since they seem similar as FSME, but FSME is for life....
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Old 09.05.2021, 18:36
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Re: Ticks in Switzerland

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Basically, Lyme disease is treatable, you just have to come to the doctor if you notice symptoms..
It's much more problematic if it's not been treated soon after infection. I've a friend who was bitten nearly ten years ago - it was diagnosed seven years ago, and finally dealt with about five years ago. However, it has caused permanent damage that means she still suffers. It's really nasty.

If you get a bulls-eye rash after a bite, get treatment. The trouble is, you don't always know you've been bitten, and you don't always know that you've been infected.
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