When you think of ticks, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a nasty critter that latches on and doesn’t let go. But there’s more to worry about with these pests than just a nasty bite!
Here are six surprising tick facts that will help you protect yourself the next time you encounter one.
It’s easy to assume ticks are insects since they look like mini versions of fleas and are often encountered in a similar environment.
But it might surprise you to learn that ticks actually belong to a different category in the animal kingdom: arachnids.
Ticks—as well as spiders, mites, and scorpions—have eight legs and a hardened exoskeleton; this differs from the six legs and softer exoskeleton of an insect. So while ticks may resemble miniscule eight-legged creepy-crawlies, their scientific classification is not quite the same.
Although they don’t spin webs or leap around like spiders do, they can be equally as pesky and annoying!
When it comes to ticks, there are four distinct life stages. It all starts with an egg, followed by the larva stage, which is also known as the “seed tick” stage. After that, they move on to become nymphs and finally – by far the worst of the lot – adults.
During each stage of their lifecycle, ticks feed on hosts such as wild animals, birds and humans. Different species of ticks can have completely different characteristics in regard to how long their life stages last and what kind of environment they live in.
Ticks are everywhere! They call forests, grasslands, backyards and even urban areas their home. In fact, recent research has shown that ticks have made their way into large U.S. cities such as New York City and Boston.
Ticks thrive in moist and humid environments, making the Northeast a perfect place for them to call home. These resilient parasites are living in many other habitats such as fields, shrublands and around houses with gardens or animals.
So next time you’re out in nature or walking through your city, remember that ticks could be anywhere! Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against tick bites. If you’re concerned about ticks on your property, be sure to call pest control right away.
There are all kinds of different tick species in the United States that are known to bite people.
But it might surprise you to learn that ticks don’t just feed on the blood of mammals like humans—they also feed on the blood of reptiles and birds! It’s true; these tiny creatures are actually quite omnivorous when it comes to their feeding habits. They also go after pets like dogs and cats—ticks have all kinds of different hosts.
Recent research has found that certain species of ticks show preference for specific animals when picking a host, but in general, ticks will feed on the blood of both cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals.
So when next you come into contact with a tick, remember that it might have been dining on snakes or owls before it set its sights on you!
When most of us think of ticks, the first thing that comes to mind is Lyme disease, but the truth is that ticks are vectors of more diseases than you might expect. Ticks can also spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick-borne encephalitis.
Both Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick-borne encephalitis can cause severe headaches and rash, while tick-borne encephalitis is even more dangerous: it’s linked to vision loss and life-long disability if left untreated.
It’s a good idea to stay vigilant when it comes to checking for ticks after spending time outdoors; awareness and precaution can help you stay healthy.
Ticks are not just tiny, pesky creatures that latch onto our skin. They are experts in the art of hunting down suitable hosts to feed on. To do this, they have some rather sophisticated techniques for identifying and locating their prey.
One of the ways that ticks can home in on their victims is via temperature. They can detect body heat and movement with ease, allowing them to track us down like heat signatures on a radar display.
In addition to this, ticks are also able to sense the presence of carbon dioxide which we continually release into the atmosphere when breathing. This makes them even more skilled hunters as they can search further afield than they would picking up body heat signals nearby.
Start by gathering the necessary supplies: pointy tweezers, rubbing alcohol, and an airtight container like a zippered bag or small jar. Disinfect the tweezers with rubbing alcohol before you begin, then locate the tick on your skin and grip it firmly by its head using the tweezers. You want to avoid crushing or mutilating the tick during removal, as this could result in more bacteria being released into your skin. Once securely grasped with the tweezers, steady pressure should cause the tick to detach and free itself from your skin.
Ticks may bite you on your scalp and through your hair, but the good news is that they won’t actually lay any eggs there (or anywhere else on your body).
Ticks prefer light colors. Therefore, if you want to avoid ticks, try to wear dark clothing to help prevent ticks from latching on.