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10+1 Fast Facts about Ticks: Revealing the Lesser-Known Realities

March is Tick Awareness Month, and TickWarriors believes knowledge is the first line of defense against these tiny but potentially dangerous creatures.To help arm you with the necessary knowledge, here are some fast facts about ticks. Brace yourselves for some surprising revelations!

They Are A Year-Round Threat.

Just because the temperatures get cooler doesn’t mean your risk of a tick bite fades. While ticks are more active during the warm months, these resilient pests are active year-round. In some regions of the United States, they can be active even in winter if temperatures remain above freezing. 

They Are Urban Invaders.

Think you’re safe from ticks just because you’re a city dweller? Not so fast! Ticks can thrive in urban environments as well. Parks, gardens, and even city outskirts can be hotspots for tick activity, posing risks to unsuspecting city dwellers.

They Can Cause Tick Paralysis. 

The idea of waking up one day without being able to move and not knowing why is a terrifying one. But a tiny tick bite can sometimes cause temporary paralysis. Certain tick species release neurotoxins while they feed that can cause temporary paralysis. 

They Are Impacted By Climate Change.

Climate change isn’t just making your bust out your bikini earlier each year. It is also affecting tick distribution in the United States. Warmer temperatures and shifting rain patterns have led to the expansion of tick habitats, increasing the potential for human encounters.

They Are Stealthy Hitchhikers.

While hitchhiking faded out of fashion for humans in the 60s and 70s, ticks are still using this free travel option to find their next meal. Ticks are skilled hitchhikers and will attach themselves to anything that will get them closer to a meal, including clothing, gear, pets, and people. 

They Can Be Tricky to ID. 

Knowing the difference between various tick species can help you understand the risks associated with a tick bite. But, given their tiny size, they can be really hard to identify. 

They Use a Technique Called “Questing.”

While this sounds like a pretty cool activity, it’s far from something you want to experience. Ticks seek out their host by climbing to the tips of grasses or vegetation and extending their front legs, making it easy to latch onto passing animals or humans. 

They Have Specific Host Preferences.

Just like you prefer some cuisines over others when dining out, different tick species have distinct host preferences for their snacking pleasure. Take the black-legged tick (deer tick). They generally target deer while the American dog tick prefers larger mammals like dogs and humans. 

They Are Silent Invaders.

A tick bite is probably the least painful bite you’ll ever feel. This is because they are so small and the saliva of some species contains anesthetic properties, making it almost impossible to feel them as they latch on. 

They Need Reservoir Hosts. 

What’s a “reservoir host,” you ask? They are animals that can carry and transmit tick-borne pathogens without suffering from the associated diseases and conditions. 

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They Are Biodiversity Boosters. 

But the news about ticks isn’t ALL bad, and they actually do have a purpose other than making us sick. Ticks actually play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity. They are an essential food source for birds, reptiles, and amphibians, contributing to the delicate balance of ecosystems.

By understanding ticks’ habits, habitats, and  risks, we can create a safer environment for ourselves, our families, and our furry friends. TickWarriors is here to support you on this journey, providing plant-based solutions that prioritize your well-being and the health of our planet.