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-   -   Do ticks burrow under your skin? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=469806)

ShadowFacts 05-29-2008 10:14 AM

Do ticks burrow under your skin?
 
In this thread , there is much lamenting about the evil nastiness of ticks and lots of tick anecdotes. jellyblue posted about a tick that had burrowed into his girlfriend's arm, such that only the legs were sticking out (ugh!). I have heard anecdotally that ticks can burrow under the skin and had always thought this was true, but my wife (a tick-hater in the extreme) does not believe they can - she thinks they just bite and latch on. There was no resolution in that thread as to whether they actually burrow or not, and my online searches have turned up nothing definitive, so I thought I would start a thread here.

So, can ticks burrow under your skin? All of them or only certain kinds? Which ones? Thanks in advance.

plnnr 05-29-2008 10:21 AM

A completely baseless conjecture here, but I'd guess they don't actually burrow under the skin. Their saliva does contain anticoagulant and I'm guessing the skin around a bite could get swollen or puffy enough to make it seem like the little son of a bitch is burrowing into the flesh.

Purely a guess, but with tons of experience behind it. You grow up in the country - you're going to have a lot of tick bites.

smiling bandit 05-29-2008 10:26 AM

Never heard of any such thing, never seen any such thing. They can't burrow anyhow: their jaws can barely get through your skin. They are just good enough to get a tiny trickle of blood.

cormac262 05-29-2008 10:31 AM

To me "burrow" tends to indicate that their entire body is under your skin (ugh !!), and I know this is not the case.

But the ticks I know of (don't know the specifics, but those found in California: tickus disgustingus californius ;-) do bury their heads in the skin. It's not just "chompers", but actually their head. This is why there are various tricks to removing ticks that have latched on - you don't want to remove the body and leave the head imbedded in your skin (leads to infection). The tricks involve getting the tick so uncomfortable/annoyed that he pulls his head out. Then you can remove him and dispose of him.

In case you're interested, some of the tricks are:
- hold a recently extinguished match close to the tick so he feels the heat
- apply nail polish on him. Either the fumes or fear of suffocation force him out
- (this one takes GREAT skill) hold the body, and twist EVER so slightly as to let him know he may lose his head. The problem with this is that it is VERY easy to pop the body off the head. Not recommended until you've practiced.

ShadowFacts 05-29-2008 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cormac262
To me "burrow" tends to indicate that their entire body is under your skin (ugh !!), and I know this is not the case.

But the ticks I know of (don't know the specifics, but those found in California: tickus disgustingus californius ;-) do bury their heads in the skin. It's not just "chompers", but actually their head. This is why there are various tricks to removing ticks that have latched on - you don't want to remove the body and leave the head imbedded in your skin (leads to infection). The tricks involve getting the tick so uncomfortable/annoyed that he pulls his head out. Then you can remove him and dispose of him.

In case you're interested, some of the tricks are:
- hold a recently extinguished match close to the tick so he feels the heat
- apply nail polish on him. Either the fumes or fear of suffocation force him out
- (this one takes GREAT skill) hold the body, and twist EVER so slightly as to let him know he may lose his head. The problem with this is that it is VERY easy to pop the body off the head. Not recommended until you've practiced.

Interesting. I have heard similar things about the delicate-ness of tick removal once they were really attached. This might be why I thought they could burrow. Of course,if the head is under the skin and difficult to remove, that kind of counts as burrowing, I would think.

essell 05-29-2008 11:01 AM

I believe Scabies is a condition where mites burrow under your skin. Kinda Similar. Very scary.

cormac262 05-29-2008 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShadowFacts
Interesting. I have heard similar things about the delicate-ness of tick removal once they were really attached. This might be why I thought they could burrow. Of course,if the head is under the skin and difficult to remove, that kind of counts as burrowing, I would think.

I'm guessing you've not seen a tick while it is feasting. Their bodies (abdomen) are little more than a big "bladder" to store the blood. So what starts out as a "speck", expands to this "blood balloon" more than triple the original size (maybe even quadruple). The telltale sign you have a tick is not that you feel them, but that you have this little "blood balloon" hanging off of you.

So it would be somewhat impractical for them to burrow their entire body into your skin. As they feast, the body would be that much larger to have to maneuver under the skin.

BMax 05-29-2008 11:15 AM

Here is a good photo of the tick's head. See the part with all the barbs? The tick inserts that into yor skin. Grabbing the tick by the abdomen and pulling it out may cause the head to break off and stay attached to your skin.
Here is a good article on removal of ticks.

Harmonious Discord 05-29-2008 11:29 AM

Here's a link with an engorged tick showing they get much larger than 3 times their original size. These are the size you find on cattle or dogs on a farm if you haven't seen the animal for a few days.

Yllaria 05-29-2008 11:31 AM

I just took a first aid class with a video that included the removal of ticks. The recommendations followed the article in BMax's linked article. It showed actual ticks being removed from actual skin. The trick is to grasp the head gently with the tweezers then lift straight up until the skin tents up and is taut. Then you hold it there until the tick lets go. They didn't say what to do if the pull of the skin didn't make the tick release, or if you couldn't get a grip on the head. It seemed to take from a few seconds to ten seconds or more, depending on the tick, but they may have not shown ones that took longer.

MacTech 05-29-2008 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cormac262
The tricks involve getting the tick so uncomfortable/annoyed that he pulls his head out. Then you can remove him and dispose of him.

In case you're interested, some of the tricks are:
- hold a recently extinguished match close to the tick so he feels the heat
- apply nail polish on him. Either the fumes or fear of suffocation force him out
- (this one takes GREAT skill) hold the body, and twist EVER so slightly as to let him know he may lose his head. The problem with this is that it is VERY easy to pop the body off the head. Not recommended until you've practiced.

the first two are a bad idea, as they may cause the tick to disgorge it's gut (okay, "vomit") into the bitten area, injecting it's stomach contents into the "host", there is a high risk of infection if the tick does this
the third one has the risk of turning the tick into a "syringe", once again, injecting the wound with the contents of the tick's gut

there are specially designed tick removal tools, they slip between the tick's "head" and the host's skin, so no squeezing of the tick is neccecary, the less you touch the thing, the greater the chances of it being removed without emptying it's gut

once it's been removed, all bets are off, kill it as you see fit (I love to use my 170 lumen MagCharger flashlight to "cook" the removed tick, the MC produces a lot of infrared as well as visible light)

matt 05-29-2008 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cormac262
- apply nail polish on him. Either the fumes or fear of suffocation force him out

I tried that one. The little bastard died in situ.

ShadowFacts 05-29-2008 03:27 PM

Thanks for all the info (and pics - yikes!), everyone. Ignorance fought!

carnivorousplant 05-29-2008 03:32 PM

They itch quite a bit on me, long before they become engorged. I always rip them off, either by grabbing a large tick with my fingers or scraping a tiny one off with my fingernail. I have never had infections.

Quote:

What the tick does is secrete a whitish cement-like substance around her head and jaws to hold her onto her host,” he explains. “It is this substance that often causes many people to mistakenly believe the ticks are burrowing into their skin, something ticks do not, and cannot do.”
Link.

arpmail2012 03-04-2012 03:47 PM

Ticks do burrow!
 
I am personally a victim of two tick burrows. One was in 2003 and the tick had burrowed until only the feet were sticking out. The doctor used a biopsy instrument that created a plug out of my skin to extract the tick which left a small hole in my neck that later closed up. If a tick only bit me and hung on, all I would have needed to do was to pull it off. I didn't know it was there until it created serious problems as discussed next.

Last night, I had to go to an emergency center to have another one extracted that had burrowed until only its tiny feet were sticking out. Since I have a lot of aches and pains and have a high tolerance to pain, I did not notice this tick's presence until the anesthesia the tick used to burrow was no longer working. The doctor had to kill it and then dig it out of my skin.

The first tick was located on the back of my neck. This last one was on the side of my neck in plain sight. They must be extremely tiny and burrow deeply before ingesting much blood, making their presense known and looking like a black mole on the skin, or I would have to be dumb as a rock to not notice a tick hanging off the side of my neck. Don't you agree?

In addition, just when I finally paid serious attention to the pain caused by both ticks, I had also developed serious neurological symptoms such as a stiff neck, headache, knees wanting to buckle, shaky hands, and felt absolutely horrible. I truly believe if I had not gotten the ticks out of my skin that they would have put me in the hospital.

Having had dogs all of my life, the ticks that I have found on them were simply hanging on and getting bigger as they filled with blood were easily removed. The kind that burrows must be a different breed. I probably should do some research about ticks to avoid this happening again. Today, I feel better but still do not feel well.

Tell your wife that I hope she never gets a tick on her that is capable of burrowing under her skin.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShadowFacts (Post 9849667)
In this thread , there is much lamenting about the evil nastiness of ticks and lots of tick anecdotes. jellyblue posted about a tick that had burrowed into his girlfriend's arm, such that only the legs were sticking out (ugh!). I have heard anecdotally that ticks can burrow under the skin and had always thought this was true, but my wife (a tick-hater in the extreme) does not believe they can - she thinks they just bite and latch on. There was no resolution in that thread as to whether they actually burrow or not, and my online searches have turned up nothing definitive, so I thought I would start a thread here.

So, can ticks burrow under your skin? All of them or only certain kinds? Which ones? Thanks in advance.


Colibri 03-04-2012 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnivorousplant (Post 9851259)
They itch quite a bit on me, long before they become engorged. I always rip them off, either by grabbing a large tick with my fingers or scraping a tiny one off with my fingernail. I have never had infections.

Same here. I've had dozens of ticks that have gotten their heads embedded, and I've always just pulled them off. I've never had a problem with an infection.

I've only had a few ticks that I didn't find before they became engorged. They usually itch enough by the first day or two so I find them. Of the ones I didn't, one was inside the rim of my outer ear and the other was under my toenail. The second one was the most painful to remove of any I've had.

Blake 03-04-2012 04:17 PM

Ooh, zombie ticks.

Do they drink blood, or eat brains, or both?

johnpost 03-04-2012 04:28 PM

zombie or no

i've never seen or heard of (except for this thread) a dog or deer tick burrow under skin. the mouth pierces and hangs on, legs hang on. the tick wants to feed to lay eggs. these eggs are laid elsewhere for other host animals. the tick needs to drop off.

Shagnasty 03-04-2012 04:53 PM

We need to break it down by type of ticks.

Dog ticks = those huge nasty gray things that blow up to the size of a small grape. Those don't usually attach to people and I doubt they ever could embed because of their eventual size and the way they work. Their legs and mouth can be hard to remove however.

Deer ticks - they look like tiny pepper flakes to the naked eye and can carry Lyme disease. You can have dozens of them on you without even realizing it for a long time. They are so small, it may seem like they are embedded but they mainly just sit flat on the skin with a tight grip. It usually takes a close inspection and tweezers to pick them off.

Red ticks - These attach to people readily especially if you work or play in tall grass or wooded areas. They are redish-brown and look like tiny crabs. They don't usually embed in your skin but they can at least partially if they latch on to a sensitive area (why yes, I did find one on my dick once when I was 5, why do you ask?). If you leave one in place for too long, some of them seem to get lazy or may even die instead of ever delatching. The skin will start to heal from the small wound around it and it can take tweezers, a knife, or razor blade to get most of it out. I have never had one get seriously infected however but I always put on neosporin cream after the minor self-surgery.

Fear Itself 03-04-2012 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arpmail2012 (Post 14835411)
One was in 2003 and the tick had burrowed until only the feet were sticking out.

This what doesn't add up. All the ticks I have seen have tiny little legs that are much shorter than the body. They just aren't long enough to stick out with the rest of the body burrowed under the skin. I think you had some other bitey bug having a blood meal at your expense, but not a tick.

carnivorousplant 03-04-2012 05:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear Itself (Post 14835619)
I think you had some other bitey bug having a blood meal at your expense, but not a tick.

After extensive experience with ticks in central Arkansas, I must agree.

For those who have ticks embedded:

In what state did it occur?
Did a physician identify it as a tick, and if so, what species?

Ulfreida 03-04-2012 07:42 PM

Are people confusing ticks and chiggers? Mites? Bot fly larvae?

Ticks do not burrow under the skin, they imbed their sucking mouthparts just under the skin, only.

Ticks range greatly in size partly dependent on species and partly on larval stage. They can be smaller than a mustard seed. I pull ticks off myself and my family and my dogs, seasonally (here, it is winter/spring), and have for thirty years. I know from ticks.

Removing ticks is all about not pulling their bodies off while leaving their mouthparts under your skin. That makes an unpleasant scab, after digging into yourself with sharp instruments trying to remove them. I just use my fingers, nothing else. No twisting, no applications of heat or chemicals -- those are bunk. Don't try to poison or suffocate your tick. They ideally should come out alive, because you want them to release their hold on you, and they lack that kind of decision-making power after they're dead. You want to grab firmly as close to the skin as ever you can get (get the skin as taut as possible to facilitate the requisite closeness), and pull slowly until you hear that faint 'click' that means they've let go.

After that, opinons differ. I like to toss them on a hot woodstove and watch them pop. My daughter favors pulling them into two pieces and my husband shudders and flushes them down the sink.

carnivorousplant 03-04-2012 08:19 PM

I feed them to my Nepentes.

Could these guys with "burrowing ticks" have chiggers?

Ulfreida 03-04-2012 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arpmail2012 (Post 14835411)
....
In addition, just when I finally paid serious attention to the pain caused by both ticks, I had also developed serious neurological symptoms such as a stiff neck, headache, knees wanting to buckle, shaky hands, and felt absolutely horrible. I truly believe if I had not gotten the ticks out of my skin that they would have put me in the hospital.

Having had dogs all of my life, the ticks that I have found on them were simply hanging on and getting bigger as they filled with blood were easily removed. The kind that burrows must be a different breed. I probably should do some research about ticks to avoid this happening again. Today, I feel better but still do not feel well.

Have you gotten tested for Lyme Disease?

Your symptoms are not tick bite symptoms, which are localized.

Colibri 03-04-2012 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnivorousplant (Post 14835960)
Could these guys with "burrowing ticks" have chiggers?

Chiggers are just barely visible to the naked eye. You couldn't distinguish legs if it were embedded. In any case they don't actually burrow into the skin, but make a hole called a stylostome that they feed from.

Jiggers, or Chigoe fleas, burrow into the skin but are only found in tropical areas.

Blake 03-04-2012 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulfreida (Post 14836006)
Your symptoms are not tick bite symptoms, which are localized.

Tick bite symptoms can be exactly as arpmail2012 describes: headache, muscular stiffness, loss of control of the legs, the whole bit. The worst symptoms are usually displayed when the animal attaches to the neck, just as described.

There's a species of tick in Australia that produces such severe symptoms that it killed hundreds of dogs a years before antivenom was invented. It still leads to a couple of dozen humans hospitalisations each year and and can easily kill children if left untreated. Basically, the paralysis starts at the legs and works its way northwards. You lose control of the knees, then the hips, then the elbows, then the shoulders, then you lose the ability to breathe.

Good night.

Ulfreida 03-04-2012 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blake (Post 14836039)
Tick bite symptoms can be exactly as arpmail2012 describes: headache, muscular stiffness, loss of control of the legs, the whole bit. The worst symptoms are usually displayed when the animal attaches to the neck, just as described.

There's a species of tick in Australia that produces such severe symptoms that it killed hundreds of dogs a years before antivenom was invented. It still leads to a couple of dozen humans hospitalisations each year and and can easily kill children if left untreated. Basically, the paralysis starts at the legs and works its way northwards. You lose control of the knees, then the hips, then the elbows, then the shoulders, then you lose the ability to breathe.

Good night.

oh, thanks for sharing that.

kanicbird 03-05-2012 06:36 AM

I had one 'burrow' in so only the very end of it's tick butt and it's legs were hanging out. Dr ID'ed the tick as a dog tick. It basically made itself a little pocket in my leg.

Snnipe 70E 03-05-2012 09:34 AM

I was bitten once and the head had to be dug out of my skin.

Sister Vigilante 03-05-2012 10:14 AM

I've pulled out many a tick in my time and always just grabbed it and pulled it off, then crushed it between my fingernails, and off to the trash. Some get that big bulbous light brown swelling, others are just small and dark brown. I think it's s separate species but it could be that I just caught them before they got to feed too much.

The way to get a chigger out (and dead) is to cover the burrow (the red mosquito-like bump) with clear fingernail polish. I'm told it suffocates them and they just die and the problem solves itself.

Maus Magill 03-05-2012 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cormac262 (Post 9849749)
To me "burrow" tends to indicate that their entire body is under your skin (ugh !!), and I know this is not the case.

But the ticks I know of (don't know the specifics, but those found in California: tickus disgustingus californius ;-) do bury their heads in the skin. It's not just "chompers", but actually their head. This is why there are various tricks to removing ticks that have latched on - you don't want to remove the body and leave the head imbedded in your skin (leads to infection). The tricks involve getting the tick so uncomfortable/annoyed that he pulls his head out. Then you can remove him and dispose of him.

Wrong - wrong - wrong - wrong. You do not want the tick to let go voluntarily. If it does, it may vomit into the wound. That's how you get Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. To remove a tick safely:

You use a tweezer, and grip it as close to the head as possible. Pulling gently, you twist it clockwise until it comes out.

It will hurt.

carnivorousplant 03-05-2012 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maus Magill (Post 14837506)
It will hurt.

Me or the tick?

Maus Magill 03-05-2012 10:33 AM

Yes.

GiantRat 03-06-2012 12:20 AM

To be safe, you could always just excise everything around the tick's infiltration point. Might hurt a a bit - I suggest using alcohol topically, then orally, then topically again.

Colibri 03-06-2012 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GiantRat (Post 14840110)
To be safe, you could always just excise everything around the tick's infiltration point. Might hurt a a bit - I suggest using alcohol topically, then orally, then topically again.

While this may be intended as a joke, I'd say you would be more likely to incur an infected wound by making it larger than necessary while not cutting down the chance of getting a tick-borne disease.

carnivorousplant 03-06-2012 10:06 AM

Does anyone have the statistics? I've always just yanked them off and crushed them or fed them to carnivorous plants. Perhaps we have wuss ticks in Arkansas.

ctoad 04-01-2012 02:15 PM

try this to remove
 
My cat had never had a tick until last year. He now has had 4. I work as a firefighter and heard the guys talking about removing ticks and how hard it was to make sure you got it all out. I wanted to find an easier way and found this video. All 4 ticks that have been removed and have all just fallen out completely intact and then I just put a little rubbing alcohol on the bite area and flush the tick down the toilet

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-remove-a-tick/

Sometimes the tick falls out after only 10 secs and others have taken up to 30 secs

Hope this helps

johnpost 04-01-2012 03:13 PM

while twirling the tick may cause it to come out that is not necessarily a good method.

with a deer tick you would like to get it out within 24 hours of its attaching. you don't want to give it time or opportunity to have the bacteria to get into you or your animal. doing anything but pulling it out correctly (grab front of the head, straight back) gives it a chance to puke the bacteria out.

be more concerned with the bacteria than getting it out whole. a mouth part in you may not cause infection, your body gets small pokes by foreign objects all the time. if you might get infected from a left-in mouth part (i, spouse or animals have not with over a decade of correctly pulling them out) it is a more easily controlled infection compared to Lyme disease.

CurtC 04-02-2012 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shagnasty (Post 14835545)
We need to break it down by type of ticks.

Dog ticks = those huge nasty gray things that blow up to the size of a small grape. Those don't usually attach to people and I doubt they ever could embed because of their eventual size and the way they work. Their legs and mouth can be hard to remove however.

Deer ticks - they look like tiny pepper flakes to the naked eye and can carry Lyme disease. You can have dozens of them on you without even realizing it for a long time. They are so small, it may seem like they are embedded but they mainly just sit flat on the skin with a tight grip. It usually takes a close inspection and tweezers to pick them off.

Wait - is there a big difference between dog ticks and deer ticks? I have always just called them "ticks," and the term "dog tick" was something that people used to refer to a tick after it became engorged and disgusting. If a person gets a tick, he usually will remove it when it's still small, but dogs (especially out in the country where I grew up) have their ticks attached for a long time, so the ones you see on dogs are the same ticks, but in the engorged state.

I had never heard the term "deer tick" until Lyme disease became a hot topic in what, the 1970s? And the deer tick seems to be one specific species.

Anyway, that's my experience with the colloquial terms. This page shows a few species of ticks found in the area where I grew up - there is the deer tick specific species, plus a couple that are called dog ticks, plus another with a different name. But the point is that they all look pretty similar, and I think they all would blow up to the size of maybe not a small grape, but a pea or bean.

johnpost 04-02-2012 10:39 AM

the dog tick is bigger both before and after feeding than the deer tick.

dog ticks don't get huge on people because you usually find them before they have fed very long.

deer ticks being smaller can get engorged ( long enough to spread disease) on people before being discovered.

Tamerlane 04-02-2012 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CurtC (Post 14926949)
Wait - is there a big difference between dog ticks and deer ticks?

Yes and no. They're just different species, the common name has no consistent application and really means nothing. All of them are 'hard ticks' in the family Ixodidae.

The "yes" comes from the fact that different species carry different diseases. The species Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus, the "deer ticks", can carry the spirochaete that causes Lyme's Disease, whereas "dog ticks" in the genera Dermacentor, Rhipicephalus and Amblyomma mostly do not. However the latter genera can the organisms that cause Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, various versions of Ehrlichiosis and other things, so pick your poison ;).

Tamerlane 04-02-2012 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tamerlane (Post 14927615)
The species Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus, the "deer ticks",

And I should add, though I have seen people refer to the latter as "deer ticks", deer actually aren't all that important as hosts for I. pacificus, which is one of the reasons Lyme's Disease is not as prevalent on the Pacific Coast as it is in New England. The western species seems to prefer reptilian hosts as nymphs, which aren't good incubators of Borellia burgdorferi, the spirochaete in question.

Floater 04-03-2012 04:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tamerlane (Post 14927615)
... different species carry different diseases. The species Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus, the "deer ticks", can carry the spirochaete that causes Lyme's Disease, whereas "dog ticks" in the genera Dermacentor, Rhipicephalus and Amblyomma mostly do not. However the latter genera can the organisms that cause Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, various versions of Ehrlichiosis and other things, so pick your poison ;).

What about TBE?

Blake 04-03-2012 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tamerlane (Post 14927615)
However the latter genera can the organisms that cause Tularemia.

What, a whole one?

cmlm 05-16-2013 05:16 AM

I do believe they borrow into the skin.. As I was checking my daughters hair like i do every week to make sure she doesnt have lice. I found a lump on her head (if she was to stan infront of yo looking the same way it was on her let side midway of her ear) and i looked closer and i say a brown cloured thing sticking out with it looked like 2 little legs sticking out. I than took her over to the walk in and the doctor had to pull it out and it was in deed a tick and it was stl alive which made me sick tosee it. The tick it self was at last 1/2 an inch and it took the doctor at least 7 mins to get most of it out.. H couldnt get the last two legs out but he is treating her for tick dieases. they have he on a cream and an antibotic. They told me it was there for at least3 days as to how deep it had got but they still cannt say it for sure. They had asked me if she had any symptoms and i asked what. She is 4 its the brgin of spring.she has allergies and a cold and has been tired lately. The doctor had informed me tha they are all syptoms of a diease from ticks so he is going to put her on the med it just incase.. She just went to hospital for lots of blood work, i hope everything comes back good..
But i would like to point out that you dont have to be in the woods to getthem you can simply go out in your yard and sit in the grass, more than likelly not but it is possible, as i have learned that form experiece with mysel a couple yeas ago, My daughter i do believe gt hers from the woods when she was helpng her dad get wood for there little fire. The quicker you find them the better and i never thought to check her hair for it. and her father told me he checked her over and whn i told him where it was he was shocked as well...

saje 05-16-2013 08:11 AM

No, they don't burrow. But if the skin around the tick gets inflamed (from the tick's saliva and from scratching at it) it can look like it's burrowed, especially when the tick is tiny like a deer tick. Dog ticks get huge when they've been attached for a while, there's no way it could burrow.

johnpost 05-16-2013 09:08 AM

double zombie or no

ticks don't burrow, they bite and hang on. they want to feed on your blood, not to make a nest. after feeding they use that energy to reproduce outdoors where the ticks need to be. they get plump and fall off.

reneeandbrianj 07-16-2015 01:23 AM

Ticks can burrow under the skin. My family and I are outdoor adventures and it isn't uncommon for one of us to find a tick attached to us. Usually, that is exactly what it is, attached. This year our dogs has had several ticks that have actually burrowed under the skin, with only a portion of its body sticking out. And no, it isn't an engorged tick and it isn't a tick that has been left on and left the skin inflamed. I would have answered the post in the same way if I had not experienced this myself and been totally freaked out. After finding a few like this on my dog, my husband had one do the same thing. Then a friend came over and showed us one on him. Never before this year have any of us saw this. These are not chiggers. They are regular full grown, but not engorged ticks. You can not grasp them at the head, because the head and half the body is completely under the skin. You can not smother anything that has its head already buried. Which leaves pulling the tick or cutting it out. The ticks are so far under the skin that the bodies actually pull apart it you try to pull them off. I have literally had hundreds off ticks on me in my life. Never, ever have I seen this. I believe it has to be a tick new to this area. I have actually seen ticks new to this area, in the last few years. Kinda scary. My husband now has lyme disease. One of our dogs was diagnosed with multiple tick diseases and the other dog had tick paralyzes. And yes, they are treated with flea and tick medicine. And my husband uses bug spray with deet. There are several people in our area who have been diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. There are definately more ticks in this area than there were 15 years ago.

LSLGuy 07-16-2015 06:18 AM

Interesting news; thanks for posting. Could you tell us roughly where on Earth you are?

We have people from all over the world reading here and knowing about these new ticks in "your area" doesn't help much if we don't know where "your area" is.

Mangetout 07-16-2015 05:00 PM

I'd like to know the straight dope on the advice that you have to twist or unscrew the ticks from your skin in some specific direction. I get that gently twisting might be necessary (although tick removal advice being what it is, I shan't be surprised if someone tells me that it's the worst possible idea)

But do ticks have any kind of chirality to their bite? Why are people oddly specific about the direction in which one should unscrew them?


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