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Common Questions about Ticks

Common Questions about Ticks

Have a question about ticks? We’re answering some of the most common questions we receive about these pests.

Yep. It’s that time of year again—time to start discussing ticks. As the weather gets warmer, you can expect tick activity to steadily increase. Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have:

Are ticks insects?

Ticks are not insects, but that does not make them any less serious. Ticks are from the taxonomic subclass Acari, which includes mites. 

Will ticks make me sick? 

This is kind of a loaded question. Yes, the possibility is certainly there to make you sick. Ticks vector dozens of different diseases that range in severity, but not all ticks are actively carrying anything. Many more people are bitten by disease-free ticks than otherwise. Treat all ticks, however, like they could make you sick. Do your best to prevent being bitten and remove any attached ticks as quickly as possible. 

Will they infest my home?

Ticks will not infest your home, but you may, on rare occasions, find one walking along the floor or other surface. This may happen if, for example, a pet brought one into the home and it fell off the animal before biting and attaching itself. Another instance where you might find a tick in the home is if a fully engorged tick drops from an animal’s body. Remember that many ticks are excellent at hiding. If your dog has a lot of thick hair, a tick could hide itself so well that it remains hidden even when large and fully engorged. When the tick is finished feeding, it will drop from the animal. 

How can I prevent being bitten?

To avoid being bitten, avoid walking through tall grass or under trees whenever possible. Tuck your pant legs into your socks and wear light colored clothing. These prevention steps aren’t feasible for most people, so the best prevention advice is to check yourself frequently. Thoroughly search your head and the rest of your body…. yes, even there. Look closely, as ticks are so small that they may resemble a mole. Spraying your clothes with DEET is an excellent way to keep ticks away. Checking yourself for ticks is essential, no matter which preventative strategy you follow.   

What do I do if I am bitten?

If you are bitten, remove the tick and place it in rubbing alcohol. Write the date on the bag or jar of alcohol and save it for a few weeks. If you should develop any strange symptoms in the coming weeks, this preserved specimen may be used by your doctor to make a diagnosis. We recommend purchasing an inexpensive tick key to remove the entire tick, including those tricky mouthparts.