Things to Avoid: Deer Ticks

Posted on September 4, 2008

You don't want this tick anywhere near you. It was near Lyme, Connecticut where deer ticks wre discovered to be transmitting what we now know as Lyme Disease. The ticks suck on mice which have the disease and can then transmit the disease to other animals including humans. Lyme is not the only disease ticks are capable of spreading. The American Lyme Disease Foundation has an explanation of how deer ticks transmit the disease (and other diseases) here.

The ALDF says: "Ticks are parasites that feed by latching on to an animal host, imbedding their mouthparts into the host's skin and sucking its blood. This method of feeding makes ticks the perfect vectors (organisms that harbor and transmit disease) for a variety of pathogenic agents. Ticks are responsible for at least ten different known diseases in humans in the U.S., including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, and more recently, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis."

A common misconception is that the ticks fall on you from trees. They actually climb up you from below. Ticks are far more likely to be in tall grass. Think about grass and weeds that is about the height of a dog or a deer. This is where the ticks wait for a small mammal to latch onto. Here's a video from National Geographic about the deer tick and lyme disease.