A tick bite can make you ill. Check yourself and others for ticks after visiting green areas. If you have been bitten by a tick, it is important to remove it quickly. These pages offer information on ticks, tick bites, and the diseases that ticks can spread.

Where do ticks live

Ticks are found all over the Netherlands: in forests, parks, heaths, dunes, and gardens. They mostly live in tall grass near trees or bushes or in decomposing leaves. Ticks can attach themselves to human skin. A tick bite can make you ill. In the Netherlands, ticks can transmit Lyme disease and, in rare cases, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).

Important to check

Check your body and clothing for ticks after visiting green areas. Ticks can attach themselves to anything, but they prefer the groin and buttocks, armpits, along the edges of underwear, behind the ears, and around the hairline at the neck. If you have a tick bite, remove the tick quickly. The longer the tick is attached to your skin, the higher the risk that it will transmit diseases. 

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When to see a doctor

Go see your GP if you have one or more of these symptoms after a tick bite:

  • Expanding discolouration of the skin at the location of the tick bite. This ‘ring’ around that spot can appear for up to three months after a tick bite.
  • Fever, possibly accompanied by muscle ache and joint pain, in the first weeks after the bite.
  • Joint problems, skin conditions, nervous complaints or cardiac symptoms may sometimes develop. This can occur if early symptoms of Lyme disease were not treated with antibiotics. However, these symptoms may also be the first signs of the disease.