What is a tick?
Ticks are not insects but Arachnids, a class of Arthropods, which also includes mites, spiders and scorpions. They are divided into two groups – hard bodied and soft bodied – both of which are capable of transmitting diseases in the United States.
Ticks are parasites that feed by latching on to an animal host, imbedding their mouthparts into the host’s skin and sucking its blood. This method of feeding makes ticks the perfect vectors (organisms that harbor and transmit disease) for a variety of pathogenic agents. Ticks are responsible for at least ten different known diseases in humans in the U.S., including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, and more recently, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis.
All About Ticks
Worldwide, there are about 850 tick species and 30 major tick-borne diseases; the U.S. alone has 82 species of ticks collectively causing 10 major diseases listed below:
- Spirochete Transmission by Ticks
- Time to Transmission of Tickborne Diseases: Peer-reviewed Research Papers
- Insights into the development of Ixodes scapularis : a resource for research on a medically important tick species.
- Genomic insights into the Ixodes scapularis tick vector of Lyme disease
- Borrelia burgdorferri is much more infectious in ticks that have taken a blood meal
- The OspA surface antigen protects Borrelia burgdorferri from the inactivating effects of ingested unrelated mammalian antibody as well as promotes colonization in the midgut of ticks.
- Tick Identification chart
- Geographic distribution of different types of ticks in the United States
- Tick Removal Tool
- Where to send ticks to be tested for infection
- Tick Safety
- Seven Ways to Keep Ticks Away From Your Property