There is a great deal of media sensationalism and misinformation about ticks these days. Here is a quick quiz to test your knowledge and keep you informed – the answers may surprise you.
Tick bites can give you an allergy to meat.
In some cases, the bite of the Lone Star Tick, Amblyomma americanum, can lead to allergic reactions to the consumption of red meat and pork (mammalian meat). Allergic reactions usually do not present until several hours after eating, so victims usually don't make the connection between a tick bite and this new allergic condition.
Ticks are only a spring and summer problem.
Deer ticks, like the Blacklegged Tick responsible for transmitting Lyme disease, are active in fall and even winter. Their life cycle involves questing for hosts around the time of the first frost, which often coincides with hunting season. Be careful all year long, as it takes continuous periods of outdoor temperatures below 10° Fahrenheit before ticks start dying. They may not find hosts as easily in the cold, but the risk is still there.
Ticks fall onto you from trees.
Ticks are climbers, but they seldom scale anything taller than a grass blade, weed, or shrub. They venture out to the very end of the vegetation and extend their "arms" to embrace any potential host that brushes against them. They grab and cling without creating any sensation on their victim’s skin.
Tick bites can paralyze you.
"Tick Paralysis" is an uncommon but profound and frightening outcome of some bites from ticks. Chemicals in the tick's saliva are believed to be responsible for the paralysis. Dogs and humans are the usual victims. The good news is that the paralysis is almost always reversed within 24 hours of removing the offending tick.
Ticks will lay their eggs inside you.
Female ticks drop off their host before they lay their eggs. They do lay very large numbers of eggs in leaf litter and other environments that have moisture or at least high humidity.
All ticks carry Lyme disease.
Only "deer ticks" in the genus Ixodes can transmit Lyme disease, and it is mostly the Blacklegged Tick, Ixodes scapularis, that carries Lyme. Not *every* individual tick will be a carrier. Yes, there is risk, but not all bites result in disease transmission.
Not happy with your results or just want to learn more? Check out some of our other articles to brush up on your knowledge on types of ticks, Lyme disease, safe tick removal, and more! Protect yourself from ticks by applying repellents like Natrapel® and Ben’s® Tick & Insect Repellent before heading outdoors.