Elegant females: how to recognize a dangerous tick

Towards the end of March, Russians began to report their first encounters with ticks. Smolensk residents find them on pets after walking. Altai The objections of the bitten persons are recorded.

Of the thousands of tick species for humans and animals, the most dangerous are ticks of the genus Ixodes of the Ixodes family, Natalya Shashina, Doctor of Biological Sciences at the FBUN Disinfection Research Institute, told socialbites.ca.

“Basically, we have three species, and they are all specific carriers of the most dangerous diseases: tick-borne viral encephalitis, tick-borne borreliosis, and a number of other diseases. An individual can have up to five pathogens,” he said.

– There are other types of mites – this is the Dermacentor genus. These are ticks that are more prone to large animals. For example, they are found where there are deer, elk, dogs that feed on them, including in Moscow.

Ticks of the Dermacentor genus cause pyroplasmosis in dogs (and dogs in general), which can lead to the death of an animal, especially a young animal, without treatment. Once in the body, pyroplasm leads to the destruction of erythrocytes, in addition, the products of its vital activity are toxic to the body. In acute piroplasmosis, there is an increase in temperature, the mucous membranes become pale, the urine darkens, and the stool, on the contrary, brightens, vomiting and diarrhea mixed with blood may appear. Without treatment, the animal is likely to die 4-5 days after the onset of the first symptoms.

A human Dermacentor is reluctantly attacked, but it happens sometimes, Shashina notes. These ticks can infect humans with rickettsiosis, an acute illness that causes fever and rash.

“From an animal perspective, ticks of the genus Hyalomma are perhaps the most dangerous,” adds the expert. – In particular, on the territory of the Russian Federation – Hyalomma marginatum. These ticks are also dangerous to humans as they promote the epizootic of Crimean hemorrhagic fever among agricultural ungulates.”

In Moscow it is enough to distinguish between two genera – Dermacentor and Ixodes.

“They are very easily distinguishable in appearance,” Shashina says. “Dermacentor is brown and large, parallel to attacking large prey, while Ixodes is an elegant teardrop-shaped female, orange back, dark brown front.”

The duration of activity of ticks depends only on temperature – they do not have a constant body temperature and react to external changes.

“We scientists keep ticks in test tubes, they lie in the refrigerator and they don’t move,” explains Shashina. – If you take out this test tube, warm it in your hand, they will mix. The same thing happens in nature. Tick ​​activity begins when the temperature rises to 9-10 degrees Celsius, at least on thawed patches, at least on certain sunlit slopes. This is where they crawl out. So it all depends on when spring starts.”

In the southern regions, ticks are already active in March, and in April, as a rule, they “wake up” in most of Russia, including Moscow. And if the area warms up enough, even the remaining snow will not interfere with them.

The activity of ticks of the genus Ixodes usually peaks in late May – early June, then gradually begins to decline.

However, much depends on the region. So, in Siberia, where the taiga tick is common, from August to August there are already several ticks on the vegetation, and practically no infections have been recorded, although people often go to the forest for mushrooms and berries. In the European part of Russia there is a forest tick, in which a new wave of activity is observed at the end of August – September, although not as pronounced as in the spring.

The number of ticks is directly affected by their feeding ability – if ticks do not find enough mammals to suck blood in a given year, starved females will not be able to lay eggs. However, in the long run, this does not affect the population too much.

“There are ticks this year and not next year,” Shashina says. “They’re just smaller or bigger. They have a complex developmental cycle, but if something goes wrong at one stage, the other stages that are in a state of inhibition (this is called diapause) seem to be fused, meaning the population is always preserved.

Shashina notes that tick activity in central Russia is expected to begin in April.

“From April you have to be careful in the mid lane,” he says. – In May, there will be more and more ticks. At the end of May – beginning of June there will be a peak in numbers. This applies to ticks, the most dangerous for humans – Ixodes. Those dangerous to dogs, the Dermacentor, will only disappear at the end of May or early June.”

Of all the diseases carried by ticks, only tick-borne encephalitis can be vaccinated. There is a vaccine against tularemia, but this disease has many ways of transmitting pathogens – from water, insect bites, and infections from ticks to rodent cuts.

“A person himself should know whether he lives in a zone dangerous for tick-borne viral encephalitis – this is mainly the Urals, Siberia, the Far East. If he lives there, goes to the forest, then at least he should be vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis, ”says Shashina.

In general, in order to protect yourself from ticks, you should constantly look around, remove the sticking ticks and dress in a way that prevents the tick from getting under your clothes, ticks do not bite clothes. Ticks do not fly or jump, they always attack from below – so it is important to wear pants and tuck them into socks with a tight elastic band.

“As soon as the tick enters the body, it starts looking for where to attach,” explains the expert. – And it absorbs for a long time for 6-7 days. Therefore, it searches for a long time, up to half an hour. And while he is looking, you have to notice him and avoid sucking.

In addition, there are agents that repel and kill ticks – repellents and acaricides. Protect acaricidal agents more reliably. Every year, Rospotrebnadzor and the Research Institute of Disinfectology publish lists of such products and instructions for the population on how to protect themselves from ticks in the journal Disinfection Business and on their website.

According to this RospotrebnadzorCases of infection transmitted by ticks have not yet been identified. More than 263 thousand people have been vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis this year, more than 2.3 million people are planned to be vaccinated. Acaricide (antitick) treatment of cattle is already carried out in the federal territory of the South and North Caucasus. counties.

Residents of Russia reported the first encounters with ticks. Which of them is the most dangerous for animals and humans, determining the seasonal activity of ticks, what diseases they carry and which ones can be vaccinated and what other means of protection are needed, lead researcher Natalya Shashina, from the Research Institute of Disinfection, told socialbites.ca.

Source: Gazeta


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