Common Myths about Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases Debunked

If you live or go to an area that is known to be tick-infested, it is extremely important that you be on the alert for ticks, know the symptoms of tick bites and how to best treat them.

However, due to the many myths on the subject, most people end up being confused and do not take appropriate action and do something that worsens the situation. Some common myths about ticks and the diseases they spread are demystified:

You Can Only Remove a Tick by Burning It off the Skin

While seemingly fool-proof, burning a tick off is perhaps the worst thing that you can do for getting rid of the tick. You may end up increasing the risk of your getting infected by a tick-borne disease because the application of heat increases the production of saliva by the tick and hence the pathogen transmission also gets a boost.

It is also quite likely that you may scorch your skin in the process or even starta fire. The best way of removing a tick is to pull it straight off the skin using a pair of tweezers making sure that no part of the bug gets left behind.

It Is Possible to Feel a Tick Biting You

The vast majority of people cannot make out that a tick is biting them because the ticks have a way of desensitizing the site of the bite with compounds they secrete.

The existence of this mechanism is not surprising given the fact that ticks require feeding on their hosts for as long as 5-10 days, and they would not have been successful had the host been able to make out it had been bitten.

The Only Tick-Borne Disease to Worry About Is Lyme disease (LD)

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There are quite a few diseases that ticks are known to propagate, and some of them are even more serious than LD.

Different types of ticks transmit different infections, for example, the Lone Star tick causes a bacterial disease called Ehrlichiosis, while the American dog tick, Brown Dog tick, and the Rocky Mountain wood tick transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Ticks also transmit the potentially fatal virus, Powassan that may also leave long-term neurological damage in the survivors.

Ticks Smell Blood and Jump on You from Trees

Ticks do not possess a sense of smell, but they can understand that there’s someone near that is moving, breathing, emitting carbon dioxide and heat. This perception enables them to figure out the location of potential hosts.

There is no question of ticks being able to ambush you by jumping from trees as they are not equipped to make a jumping movement. Ticks simply crawl into dark moist areas of the human body to feed.

Conclusion

The best way of avoiding tick bites and tick-borne diseases is not to go into infested areas. If you must, then wear clothing that covers your limbs fully, apply insect repellents containing DEET, and after returning, conduct a thorough inspection to make sure that no ticks are clinging on.

Author Bio: Evans Walsh is a freelance content writer. He has written many good and informative articles on different categories such as technology, health, fashion, beauty, education, career, travel etc. He is very responsible towards her job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.

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Emily R. Smith
 

Allow me to introduce a little bit about myself. I’m Emily. Now I’m working as a freelancer in New York. My job is content creating, and I write everything I want since I don’t work under the control of a boss.

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