Ticks are small, blood-sucking bugs. They belong to a special group of mites and they list of tick species is impressively long. Ticks have been around at least 90 million years. Hard ticks and soft ticks are usually known to transmit diseases to humans. You should learn how to recognize them if you love spending time outdoors. All ticks are external parasites that require blood to develop and to reproduce their eggs. Some ticks can carry harmful diseases and germs so it’s important to recognize the common symptoms of tick bites.
These blood-sucking animals can be active even in the winter. Adult ticks aren’t killed by freezing temperatures. This surprises people, but remember this fact and hopefully, you’ll never be caught off-guard. There are four stages to a tick’s life cycle egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. As soon as they develop they spend most of their time on the ground where they find shelter underneath the leaves. The whole life cycle lasts for two years and they only feed once during each stage. Ticks feed on the blood of other animals and larval tick can pick up an infection from their host. When it next feeds as a nymph it can pass the infection to the next animal or human it bites. That’s why you need to be careful when you notice the symptoms of tick bites.
What are the symptoms?
Ticks bites are usually easy to identify because they can remain attached to the skin for several days or even weeks. Unlike fleas and bed bugs, ticks don’t bite in groups so their bites are singular. If you’re bitten by a tick you may experience the following symptoms.
- A pain or swelling at the bite site.
- A burning sensation at the bite site.
- Difficulty breathing.
- A rash.
Ticks are usually not harmful, but some species carry tick-borne diseases. The first symptoms of tick-borne diseases usually develop within seven days after a tick bite. Some symptoms of tick-borne disease may include the following.
- A full body rash.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- A headache.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- A fever.
If a tick bite results in serious symptoms, you should seek for a medical help immediately. When you notice a tick, you can remove it from your skin and prevent possible problems. Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick. Don’t handle the tick with bare hands, and avoid any DIY methods that include matches and other remedies for tick removal. If you don’t remove a tick properly you could easily push infected fluid from the tick into your body so if you think you can’t handle a tick removal call your doctor. Some ticks are small, so it’s hard to tell if you have removed them properly. If you don’t want to risk, visit your healthcare provider.
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