Amazing Animals: Tick Prevention & Lyme Disease

This is a Deer Tick questing. If you don't know what questing is, then read my story!

This is a Deer Tick questing. If you don't know what questing is, then read my story!

Cadence Butler, Junior Editor

Lyme Disease is very serious, and no, I’m not talking about lime, the type of fruit. I’m talking about the disease you can get from ticks. Ticks you say? Yes, ticks. If you’re bitten by a tick carrying a certain type of bacteria (called Borrelia burgdorferi) with Lyme Disease, you can contract Lyme Disease (obviously).  Lyme Disease symptoms appear as a rash in the shape of a bullseye, you’re going to have flu symptoms, and you’re feeling fatigued.

There are around 860 types of ticks, with only 90 of those types in the United States. Out of those 90, there is the Deer Tick. The Deer Tick is the only carrier of Lyme Disease. The Deer Tick a.k.a. the Black-legged Tick, attach themselves to humans, dogs, cats, deer, mice, lizards, and even birds by burying their heads under our skin with a painless bite. Their tiny bodies will swell with our lifeblood. To remove ticks use tweezers and grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull steadily upward (do not twist or jerk the tweezers). If the body breaks off and leaves the head or jaws, try to dig them out, if they don’t come out keep trying. Then, clean the bite area with alcohol, soap and water, or iodine. Be careful, if you don’t remove them carefully they can burst into a big balloon of blood. If the tick is still alive take a photograph, and submerge the tick in alcohol. The photo can be used if your skin turns into a rash, show it to your doctor and your doctor might then know for sure that you have Lyme Disease.

They’re are many suggestions of how ticks find their prey, like falling onto us from trees or just crawling around until they find something breathing. Alas, this is not true. Ticks find their prey using a hunting technique called questioning. They will crawl up onto bark, stems, grasses, and wait in a strange pose, with their front legs out. Ticks have special sensory structures on their legs that can sense our carbon dioxide we exhale, the ammonia in our sweat, change in temperatures, and even our burps and farts. So when we walk past them, they will cling onto our pants, shirts, heads, hands, shoes, anything to get a bite to eat! Our Deer Ticks are found closer to the ground. They’re near the edges of the woods, stone walls, and humans. Because of rising temperatures, ticks can be found in regions they have never been before because of the new heat.

Lyme Disease can be treated. Lyme Disease must be diagnosed by a doctor to be able to get medicine. You could die from Lyme Disease but it’s very, very rare. Lyme Disease prevention can be easy. Just don’t walk through thick or high vegetation, put on tick repellents, tuck your pants into your socks and shoes, and once you go inside immediately check yourself head to toe for ticks. If you do this, you might have a chance to rid yourself of a tick before being bitten.

To be aware of Lyme Disease is very important. Tell you friends, children, acquaintances, and parents because to know of, and about, Lyme Disease. Remember to check yourself and be careful in the woods.  Remember, it’s not just you who shares this planet!