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Myth-busting:Top Ten Tall Tales (and the Truth!) about Ticks Part 2

Hello again, outdoor-loving friends! Last week, we educated ourselves on the truth about some tall tales regarding an arachnid that lives in our midst - the tick! Whether you encounter a deer tick, dog tick, Asian Long-horned tick, the Lone Star tick, or the Gulf Coast tick, you are sure to recollect some wisdom you’ve heard about how to handle such an unwanted encounter. Since the truth can be stranger than fiction, we’re going to break down some of these tid-bits of supposed wisdom. What’s true? What’s merely a myth? Let’s find out by looking at these next five common misconceptions about ticks

Myth #6: You are safe from ticks when you are not in the woods

False! Ticks can not only survive on shrubbery and grass in non-wooded areas, but can even withstand (and thrive) in snow and sand. Don’t let the cold weather or your coastal vacation make you forget to be aware of the possibility of ticks. Many ticks populate on plants that are low to the ground in order to give themselves the best possibility of finding a host. They don’t necessarily need to be in the woods in order to find an animal or human to serve as a host!

Myth #7: You can feel a tick bite

One might, understandably, believe that they would be aware if they were bitten by something. Usually, they would be correct! A tick, however, is designed to go unnoticed, as this is their best chance for survival. Prior to sinking its teeth (and chelicerae and hypostome) into your flesh, a tick will produce a liquid that actually numbs the site of the bite. A tick also doesn’t chomp and place its mouth pieces into a host all at once. It takes around 30 strokes of the chelicerae (rods with hooked teeth) to slowly tear into a spot in the host’s skin. The numbing element, slow opening of the skin, and the extremely small size of the tick all contribute to a bite going unnoticed.

Myth #8: A tick’s head may stay under your skin after body removal

When a tick has been attached to a host for many hours, the skin may swell as a result of the bite and it can appear that a tick has its head buried into the skin. Fortunately, in this case, looks can be deceiving. Sometimes, if a tick is removed, a host may still hold a piece of tick inside of its skin. This may cause people to believe that the head is still in the body. However, the mouth and its parts are the only pieces of the tick that are inserted into the skin of a host when attaching. If a part of a tick is left in the skin, it can only be the mouth. Once the rest of the tick is disconnected from the mouth, the mouthparts can no longer function. The pieces will fall out on their own soon or when the area is washed.

Myth #9: When a tick bites, you contract a disease right away

Thank goodness this myth is not true! Contrary to popular belief, not every tick carries bacteria that will transit a disease to its host. Additionally, it takes time for disease bacterium to spread to the host. That being said, the time it takes to transmit a disease varies. The Powassan virus has been known to be transmitted within a matter of minutes, while Lyme has been documented as taking 24 - 36 hours to transmit. Either way the disease (if a tick is carrying bacteria) does not spread to its host instantly. However, it is still best to rid oneself (or a beloved pet) of a tick as soon as possible!

Myth #10: If you don’t have symptoms, you have not contracted a tick-borne disease

It is a common belief that a disease transmitted by a tick will be “flagged” by a

rash or bulls-eye mark around the site of the bite. A sign of the skin, however, is only one

way that a person may know to go to the doctor for a proper diagnosis of Lyme disease

or other tick-borne illness. Of the people who do contract Lyme disease, 20-30% of

those infected never get a rash. Additionally, many diseases can lie dormant in a person

for a great deal of time. Lyme disease, for example, can lie dormant in a patient for

weeks or even years. Therefore, if you ever experience symptoms of Lyme disease,

such as weakened arms and legs, pain in the joints, flu symptoms, or the distinguished

bulls-eye rash, you should consult their doctor about the possibility of Lyme. Lyme is

especially prevalent in northeastern states such as Connecticut. If you are a resident of

our great state, never discount tick-borne diseases as a possible diagnosis.

Myths busted!

Now that we have busted many myths about ticks, you should spread the word whenever you hear a tall tale about a tick. Knowledge is power! Understanding the difference between fact and fiction can go a long way in preserving your health. Professional protection from ticks is also in your power to control. If you want to guarantee that your home and yard is safe from ticks and minimize the chance that you and your loved ones will contract a tick-borne disease in and around your home, allow a tick spraying service to help you. Tick Control, LLC prides itself on being CT DEEP state certified and offering quality tick control protection to residents of Connecticut. Tick Control, LLC services the towns of Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield, and more within the towns of Fairfield and New Haven counties of Connecticut. Call (888) 910-8425 or visit our website at to learn more about our services and receive a free quote. Whether your home environment involves a wooded area, clean-cut lawn, or creative landscaping, Tick Control, LLC can ensure safety from ticks for you, your family, and your pets.

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Pruitt, D., About Author: David Pruitt David Pruitt is a writer for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare. He has a bachelor’s of journalism from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and worked as a, Pruitt, A., & David Pruitt is a writer for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare. He has a bachelor’s of journalism from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and worked as a reporter before joining OSF HealthCare in 2014. An avid golfer and fis. (2020, November 27). Ticks: Sorting myth from fact to help prevent disease [infographic]. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from

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