Ticks in New Zealand: In vans, on humans, and dogs

The typical dog tick, the sheep tick, and even the Australian paralysis tick may all be found in New Zealand. Ticks are a severe problem for both people and animals, and they may be found just about everywhere, from woods to meadows to cities. Ticks are tiny parasites that live off their hosts’ blood. They like to hang around in tall grass or other regions with plenty of vegetation and can attach themselves to people and animals.

 Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia are just some illnesses that ticks may transmit. Avoiding ticks is the most effective strategy to protect against tick-borne diseases. Wear long sleeves, trousers, and insect repellent if you plan to spend time outside in an area with ticks. After spending time in tick-infested regions, inspect your skin and clothing for any remaining ticks.

Types of ticks(species) in New Zealand

New Zealand is home to three distinct tick species: the New Zealand tick (Ixodes holocyclus), the Australian tick (Ixodes holocyclus), and the South Island tick (Ixodes australis).

Ticks are a widespread nuisance in New Zealand, with the New Zealand tick being the most prevalent species. Ticks of this size and coloration are often seen on livestock such as sheep and cattle. There is no evidence that the New Zealand tick is a disease carrier. More extensive than its New Zealand counterpart, the Australian tick is widespread across both countries. This black tick may transmit several infections, including Lyme disease.

As the name implies, the South Island tick is the rarest New Zealand tick species. It’s a little, pale tick that likes to hang around with rabbits and hares. There is no evidence to suggest that the South Island tick is a disease carrier.

Where do Ticks Leave in New Zealand

New Zealand is home to ticks in various ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, and shrublands. They thrive in the wet and muggy climates typical of the tropics. Since ticks need shelter and protection from the weather, they gravitate toward regions with lush vegetation. Since ticks must feed on animals, they tend to congregate in places with many animals.

While ticks may be found throughout New Zealand, the North Island is where you will most likely encounter them. This is probably because there are more creatures and a wider variety of habitats on the North Island. The lower South Island is also a hotspot for ticks due to the abundance of appropriate habitats in this part of the island.

Ticks are a genuine concern if you’re considering a trip to New Zealand. Lyme disease and anaplasmosis are only two illnesses that may be transmitted to people by ticks. These illnesses have the potential to be life-threatening. That’s why it’s so crucial to safeguard yourself from a tick’s bite. Wearing protective clothing like long trousers and shirts, using insect repellent, and getting plenty of exercises are all great ways to stave against mosquito bites.

Where are there no Ticks

Rainforests, mountains, and beaches are just some of the sceneries you may find in New Zealand. Numerous mammals, reptiles, and birds also call this area home. Ticks are a mammal you won’t encounter in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, you won’t find any on the South Pacific Island nation of New Zealand. Among these is New Zealand’s status as an island country with stringent biosecurity measures. This necessitates strict entry screening procedures for any animals or people who could be carrying ticks.

New Zealand’s mild climate is one reason you won’t find ticks there. A moderate climate characterizes New Zealand, with pleasant summers and mild winters. Ticks, which thrive in warm, humid climates, will not be happy here. New Zealand is the ideal vacation spot for those who want to avoid encountering ticks.

How long can ticks live in a car?

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that infest humans and animals. In grassy or wooded areas, they leap on anything against them. Ticks may transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia. Ticks thrive in warm, humid areas. Ticks may live months without food or water and survive freezing. Given the right conditions, ticks may live in a car or campervan for a long time.

Without food, a tick may survive for up to a year in a vehicle. Given that ticks may go weeks or even months without eating or drinking, they would find a car or campervan to be the perfect location to spend their time. Ticks may be on to anything. Therefore, it’s crucial to do frequent checks. Remove any ticks you detect in your vehicle as quickly as possible.

Diseases and health risks from ticks

Local Infection

New Zealand does not have Lyme disease. Lyme illness causes Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium is transferred to humans through tick bites. Lyme disease causes a bulls-eye rash, headache, fever, and fatigue. Untreated Lyme disease may cause joint pain, neurological concerns, and cardiac problems. Ticks spread babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Although less common than Lyme disease, these infections are dangerous. To avoid tick bites, avoid woodlands and grassy areas. In a tick-infested place, long pants and sleeves may prevent tick bites.

Does New Zealand have Lyme disease?

There have been no reported instances of Lyme disease in New Zealand. However, certain occurrences of Lyme-like sickness among international travelers visiting Lyme disease hotspots have been documented.

In New Zealand, you won’t have to worry about being bitten by a tick that causes paralysis.

A tick’s bite may infect a person with the germs that cause Lyme disease. The bacterial infection may result in various signs and symptoms, such as high body temperature, headache, weakness, and a bulls-eye rash. Due to the similarity of Lyme disease symptoms to those of other diseases, accurate diagnosis is sometimes elusive. Neglected Lyme disease may result in significant neurological and cardiac complications.

Avoiding being bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease is the most excellent approach to protect yourself from contracting this illness, for which there is now no vaccination. When visiting a region where Lyme disease is prevalent, it is essential to protect yourself against tick bites by applying insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and trousers.

Haemaphysalis longicornis nz

New Zealand’s indigenous Haemaphysalis longicornis tick. Parasites feed on mammalian, avian, or reptile blood. H. longicornis causes most tick-borne illnesses in New Zealand sheep.

H. longicornis needs two hosts to complete its life cycle. The parasite lives on a tiny mammal, bird, or reptile as a larva. After maturing as a larva, the insect becomes a nymph.

The nymph finds a second host, usually a larger animal or human. The larva loses its skin and develops after sucking its host dry for 3-4 days. Adult ticks want a third host to mate with. After breeding, the female tick devours her host’s blood before laying eggs.

Anaplasmosis nz

Anaplasma phagocytophilum causes anaplasmosis. Infected tick bites may transmit various tick- and deer-borne pathogens. Anaplasmosis symptoms include fever, weariness, tiredness, and pains and aches. It may induce fatal respiratory failure. Anaplasmosis demands fast identification and treatment due to its rapid spread and lethality. Anaplasmosis cannot be cured by medicine. You can prevent anaplasmosis by quickly avoiding tick bites and checking up on tastes.


Increasing tick populations pose a significant health threat in New Zealand. It is vital to be aware of them and avoid them since they may cause various major health issues in people and animals.