Ticks: Everything you should know
We get it: No one wants to think about ticks. They’re creepy, gross-looking, and spread diseases. Well, that’s exactly why you shouldstart paying attention to them.
In the United States, ticks are responsible for spreading potentially-life threatening infectious diseases, some of which can trigger not just chills, nausea, and a fever, but also neurological problems and even death. The most infamous of these infections is Lyme disease—according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. (A “vector” is any living thing that can transfer diseases.) And while the rates have steadily increased since the 1990s, thousands of Lyme disease cases may go unreported.
So when it comes to ticks, ignorance is the opposite of bliss. Start reading up on what ticks look like, where they camp out, and what to do if one latches onto you. Developing an action plan now can potentially save you from a lot of suffering in the future.
Ticks are not insects
Surprised? It’s true. Ticks are actually arachnids, which means they’re more closely related to spiders than they are to flies or mosquitos. Ticks even look a lot like spiders: They have four pairs of legs, no antennae, and—importantly—don’t fly or jump, either. Instead, when ticks are ready to feed, they usually camp out on blades of grass or other foliage, where they wait for a human or animal to come to them. It’s a strategy called “questing”: By using their third and fourth pairs of legs for stability, they stretch out their first set of legs and latch onto the unsuspecting host; from there, some ticks might crawl around until they find a thin area of skin near a small blood vessel, where it’s easier to extract blood.
Only a few types of ticks spread diseases in the U.S.
Scientists have identified thousands of tick species across the world, but only a handful or so really cause us trouble in the U.S. The blacklegged tick (or “deer tick”) is infamous in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest because it spreads Lyme disease, an infection that can eventually cause joint pain, inflammation of the brain,
By: Maria Masters READ MORE: https://www.health.com/mind-body/tick-borne-illness-facts