The tick population is alarmingly flourishing. The existence of these unpleasant creatures has resulted to different facts about ticks. Along with the truthful information are some known myths about ticks, too. Meaning, it is not only the number of ticks that is growing but as well as what people think, believe and know about them. The reason could be pointed to the fact that ticks have existed for the longest time that the facts, having been passed from one generation to the next, have been given different versions.
It was said that in their earlier existence, various ticks were not known to be carriers of so much virus and infections. Today, however, with new tick species existing, new kinds of tick-borne diseases have been introduced. Still, it does not follow that all ticks are disease carriers.
Some Popular Facts about Ticks
- Summer is tick prime time; a season when new batch of ticks seek their first blood feast as May and June are the months when a great number of ticks are born.
- There are in excess of 800 tick species worldwide. Each type feeds on blood of humans or animals.
- Multiple diseases may be transmitted by a single tick bite but is not always the case. Serious infections could result the longer a tick remains attached to its host.
- Diseases are not innate to ticks; they are acquired from different sources and passed along.
- There are two tick types namely: Ixodidae (hard ticks) which has a hard back cover, and Argasidae (soft ticks). Facts about ticks also reveal that the potent saliva of the hard tick has an anesthetic effect, allowing it to bite without its host noticing. It also has the ability to keep the blood from clotting so it can feed ceaselessly.
- Ticks have 8 legs and 2 body parts, making them part of the arachnid family not insects, contrary to what most people believe.
The Truth on Myths about Ticks
- Most people believe that ticks can’t survive above freezing temperatures but some species like deer ticks actually start their feeding season at this time. Only an extensive below 10 °F temperature can possibly kill ticks.
- A tick bite would surely lead to sickness is another myth most people mistake to be a fact. While there are microorganisms that can be transmitted by ticks to their hosts, they have to be attached for over 24 hours to do that. The germs come from deep down their stomach which travels up to their saliva before they can be passed along during a bite; a process that take some time where ticks are concerned.
- Another myth about ticks that people have believed for some time is that one will be able to feel if a tick is biting and therefore can immediately detach it. As mentioned above, because tick saliva can make a bite painless, you will not feel it nibbling on your skin, hence, it can remain attached for some time and cause health-related troubles.
- The old folks say that to remove a tick, you can use alcohol, perfume, Vaseline or even draw a lit match stick towards the attached tick. These steps have no solid basis and could even be dangerous. Even showering under a spray of hot water will not remove ticks. A pair of tweezers will do a better job by grabbing the tick on its head, as close to the host’s skin as you can then pull gently. See that you disinfect your hands and the skin part where the tick came off.
- You must have heard this myth about ticks that they can grow their body back should the head stay intact after trying to kill one. There is no truth to that just as it is false that digging the head out that stay buried in the skin after an attempt to disengage it can prevent Lyme disease. On the other hand, detaching a tick within 24 hours reduces the chances of acquiring tick-borne infections.
Ticks are annoying creatures but we have to learn how to deal with them if want to avoid the dangers they can bring about. Skilled at patiently hunting for their blood supply, they can locate their victim using their senses. They lurk somewhere concealed and while they cannot fly or jump, they easily find a way to get to their hosts whether person or animal.
If you find yourself confused on what the real facts about ticks are and you know you have been exposed to these pesky critters, your doctor can give you the best advice and proper treatments. Armed with knowledge and how you can take care of yourself against ticks will certainly let you enjoy a tick-borne-disease-free life.