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Ticks are incredibly common pests, but many people who don’t have pets are often unaware of how dangerous they can be. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where your pets can run free in wild areas, however, you may be very familiar with these tiny arachnids. There are many myths about ticks that need to be addressed, however. This article will cover the most common myths and provide the facts for you to consider.


These are some of the most common myths about ticks that you should disregard:

Only female ticks bite

While the ticks most commonly found attached to people and animals are adult female and nymph ticks, ticks of both genders bite, and Deer ticks (which carry Lyme disease) will bite at any age. As such it is important to take precautions.

Ticks only carry Lyme disease

Deer ticks carry Lyme disease and commonly transmit it, but ticks of all species carry many different diseases and can transmit them to both animals and humans. Some other diseases carried by ticks include anaplasmosis, borrelia mayonii, tularemia, heartland virus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Fire removes ticks

There are many methods purported to remove ticks, most of which are not effective. But using fire or hot metal is one method that is especially dangerous and ineffective. Heat will not cause ticks to leave your pet, but it could burn them and cause additional injury.


These are the key facts you need to know about ticks to keep your pets (and yourself) safe:

Ticks can be found in any dense foliage

While there is a common myth that ticks are restricted to wooded areas, they commonly live in dense foliage of all kinds. Long grass and bushes, for example, can harbor ticks of many species and present a risk to your pets. This dense, low-lying foliage will come into contact with areas on animals that have sparse fur or sensitive skin.

Not all bites cause infection

While all tick bites carry a risk of infection, being bitten does not guarantee an infection or disease transmission. If you remove a tick quickly and safely, the risk of transmission and infection will be low. However, you should still take your pets to a vet if you see signs of illness, such as vomiting, lethargy, or fever.

Pulling ticks is safe

Veterinarians and researchers have been considering the use of local anesthetic to remove ticks safely, but pulling a tick is still the safest way we have to remove one at home. You can do this with tweezers, a special tick removal tool, or even a bit of string. All you have to do is grip the tick by the head close to your pet’s skin, and pull it firmly away from your pet’s body. Be sure to wash your hands beforehand and clean the area around the wound afterward. This will prevent bacteria from making their way into the open wound.

Above and beyond all else, preventing tick bites is the best way to prevent the transmission of diseases or infections to your pets. There are many ways to repel ticks, and your vet can advise you as to the methods best suited to your pets.