Tick Facts and Myths

Myth: Ticks are insects.
Fact: Ticks are actually arachnids, similar to scorpions, spiders and mites.

Myth: Ticks embed themselves under the skin.
Fact: Ticks can only penetrate the skin with their hypostome. Their bodies are never embedded under the skin.

Myth: You can remove a tick using a hot match, fingernail polish, rubbing alcohol, or petroleum jelly.
Fact: None of these items work and they may be dangerous. Pull the tick off using only tweezers or a tick-removal tool. Grasp it close to the skin and pull up slowly.

Myth: Ticks die in winter.
Fact: Some ticks lie dormant during the cold winter months. However, some species move indoors where they are in closer proximity to humans and pets. On warm days, when temperatures rise above 35 degrees, dormant ticks can awaken to feed. Therefore, year-round tick prevention is always recommended.

Myth: Ticks jump from trees onto passing hosts.
Fact: Ticks are rarely found higher than your knees on plants and tall grass. Ticks cannot “jump”.

Myth: You can only get ticks in wooded areas.
Fact: Ticks live on the ground and can be found anywhere, from urban parks to rural areas.

Myth: A round, red bullseye mark on my dog means he has Lyme disease?
Fact: While dogs can sometimes have a mild skin reaction to a tick bite, they do not show the infamous “bullseye” rash. This mark is only indicative of Lyme disease in humans.

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