If you spend time outside or have pets that go outdoors, it’s important to be aware of ticks! Here’s a primer on types of ticks, Lyme disease symptoms, how to prevent tick bites, and how to remove ticks—plus, what to do with a removed tick!
WHAT ARE TICKS?
Ticks are small bloodsucking parasites. Although people assume ticks are insects, they are actually arachnids (like spiders) with three pairs of legs and one pair of antennae.
They are the leading carriers of diseases to humans in the U.S., and second only to mosquitoes worldwide. Similarly to mosquitoes, toxins in the tick’s saliva cause the disease. Not only do ticks carry the very dangerous Lyme disease, but also Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, or a number of other diseases. They’re efficient carriers of disease because of the way they attach themselves to feed—and the fact that they’ll take several days to finish feeding.
TYPES OF TICKS
- Hard ticks have a tough back plate and tend to feed for hours to days. With hard ticks, disease transmission usually occurs near the end of a meal.
- Soft ticks have a more rounded body and lack the back plate. They usually feed for less than an hour and disease transmission can occur in less than a minute.
Head here to read more information on ticks, Lyme Disease, and treatment methods written by Robin Sweetser: https://www.almanac.com/tick-bites-lyme-disease-prevention-symptoms-and-tick-removal