Giant ticks are on the rise in Northern Europe

ticksTicks.Photo: Erlend Aas / NTB scanpix


Climate change means that a large type of tick has been detected around Northern Europe. It can cause serious illness in humans and is now observed in migratory birds in Norway.

The Hyalomma marginatum can hang on to its prey for 26 days and is transported over long distances.

“The Hyalomma tick has been detected on migratory birds in both Norway and Sweden,“ said Professor Snorre Stuen at the Veterinary College in Sandnes to NRK.

Unlike normal ticks, the hunting tick waits and then runs after the prey. At the same time, it can move up to 30 centimeters per second for over ten minutes.

Previously, has written that one such tick is enough to paralyze an entire cow.

May cause serious illness
The tick can be a carrier of, among other things, the blood fever disease Hemorrhagic crimean fever, also called Crimean Congo fever. Symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding in the skin.

“It is a serious disease and has a high mortality rate,”said Preben Ottesen at the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

So far, no tick carriers of the disease have been registered in Northern Europe.

Climate changes
The tick specie is originally from Asia, but climate change has led to warmer and wetter weather in Northern Europe, which attracts ticks.

Nevertheless, the weather conditions in Scandinavia are considered so unfavourable that the tick cannot hibernate and base itself permanently, according to Anicura.

In 2018, Hyalomma ticks were registered in Germany that had hibernated. 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today



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