The Dangers of Ticks in the Woods

When going into the woods, you may be more concerned about larger animals, but the real danger comes from one very small creature: ticks.

| March 2018

  • Ticks are one mot dangerous woodland creatures due to the numerous diseases they can carry.
    Photo by Pixabay/francok35
  • “Backyard Woodland” by Josh VanBrakle helps readers who own forestland take care of their woods and get the most out of their forest property.
    Photo courtesy of Countryman Press

Backyard Woodland (Countryman Press, 2016) by Josh VanBrakle helps readers to care for and appreciate the woods in their backyard. As the first ever guide of its type for nurturing the land in Americans’ care, this book helps the 10 million Americans that own forestland to give it the attention and care it deserves. In this excerpt, he discusses the dangers of ticks in the woods.

A More Dangerous Animal

When I hike in my home woods in upstate New York, I’m not concerned about bears or any other large creature. No, the animal I worry about is much, much smaller: the deer tick.

Ticks are blood drinkers. They latch onto a host (that’s you), drink your blood for a few days, and then drop off. They’re tiny (and I do mean tiny; they can be as small as a poppy seed), and what makes them so dangerous are the illnesses they carry inside them. About ten of these illnesses impact people, and the most well-known of these is Lyme disease.

Lyme disease comes from a bacterium that lives inside the tick’s gut. When the tick latches on to you, the bacterium travels up from the gut and into your body.

Fortunately, that travel takes a while. Even though ticks are small, the bacterium that causes Lyme is much smaller. A tick has to be attached to you for at least 36 hours for the Lyme bacterium to enter your body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Now you might think you’d have no trouble spotting a creepy-crawly on your body within 36 hours, but ticks are crafty. With their small size, they’re easily missed, and they often hide in hard-to-check areas like your armpit or groin (are you itchy yet? I’m itchy writing this). There’s also usually no pain associated with the tick bite itself, so you won’t know the tick has latched onto you.

4/5/2018 12:44:30 AM

Perhaps you should do a little research before writing about tick disease. There are others out there just as nasty as Lyme such as spotted tick fever. As you said, while it is found in other states Lyme is largely regional just as spotted tick fever is so any article about tick disease should be researched to mention the major regional types.

4/4/2018 8:37:39 AM

Information has been updated ticks can transmit disease in less than 24 hours



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