Tell Me > Animals > Bug World > Parasite Place > Can people get ticks?

Can people get ticks?

 




You bet! And you should be very respectful of them! Do you know what they are? They're insects which are parasites -- that means they live off of other critters. Ticks suck the blood of all kinds of animals -- dogs and humans, deer and bears to name just a few!

The ticks that you usually find in a dog's hair and skin are pretty large and become larger as they swell with blood. They're generally harmless but annoying. But there are also much smaller ticks, the size of a just a couple of poppy seeds. These are known as deer ticks because they live and travel primarily on, guess who? Deer! 



Some of these ticks are a little more dangerous because they have germs. These germs are parasites living on the ticks and they can cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease. If a tick, infected with germs, falls off of a deer, lands on a leaf and ends up on you, it can infect you. How? When a tick sucks your blood, it injects you with a small amount of substance to keep your blood from immediately clotting up. If this tick is infected, the substance it leaves behind in you may contain some of the disease-causing germs which were living in it. 



So the moral to this story? When you are walking through woods and fields, stay on the trails. Wear light clothing which can not so easily hide ticks. And, after a walk outdoors, always do a tick check. Inspect your clothes, your body, and your hair. If you think you see a tick, show it to an adult and let them remove the tick for you. They will know what to do.