How does it feel being bitten by a tick? Immediately noticeable?

As I often walk in the woods and the disease risk from tick bites has recently been upgraded for our region I’d like to ask from people who have been bitten:

How noticeable is a tick bite? Was your impression that you’d noticed it immediately, or only after some time, possibly only after looking at the spot and seeing the tick hanging on?

My understanding is that you rarely notice until the blood-bloated little fucker gets big and begins irritating your skin. YMMV.

No, tick bites are completely painless. Impossible to detect (I think). Generally, I notice the trick crawling up my leg or arm before they get a chance to bite me. You can buy tick repellents at your local drug store. SkinsoSoft makes a good one.

I had a tick try to chomp down on my boob one time after a, ahem, romp in the woods. It hurt.

I have more sensitive skin than a lot of people and can feel mosquitos biting me, too, so it might not be the same for other people.

It depends on where they bite you. Usually you feel nothing. If you’re bitten on the ankle it hurts a lot.

I have probably been bitten between 20 and 30 times and have never felt the bite.

I had outdoor jobs for several years, so I’ve gotten more than my share. In general I’ve noticed every tick bite I’ve ever had relatively quickly (within the hour). They’ve never gotten large. It generally feels like an itch that gradually becomes very noticeable, or sometimes like a little pinch, almost a tugging sensation. They hurt only rarely. The key is realizing what it is. If you’re not familiar with the sensation, you might ignore it longer than you should. They tend to be around your armpits and under your boobs. It generally takes about four hours before the bite becomes dangerous.

Pull them out by gripping them as close to your skin as you can, firmly, but not too tightly, and pull straight away from the skin, start gently and then pull harder. It should come out. If you’re concerned about disease, you can save the tick and give it to your doctor.

I’ve never felt one. I suppose it might matter where you’re bit, but I didn’t notice on neck or stomach.

I have always been alerted by their grappling hooks or whatever it is they use to hang on. It feels like an ordinary itch but when I go to scratch it, I find the tick and flick him off before he’s had a chance to burrow into my skin and get the good stuff.

You are more likely to feel the tickling when it’s crawling on your skin before it picks a spot for lunch.

Sometimes, after it’s been attached for a while, you will feel the itch from the skin irritation.

I was bitten by some ticks earlier this spring. Sometimes I felt it and sometimes I didn’t. When I did feel it it wasn’t really painful, more like the mild irritating stick caused by a small piece of leaf or something trapped under your clothes.

You might want to research the best way to remove them as they are tenacious little suckers and will hold on so strongly that their heads will snap off if you try to remove them by pulling them off. One possible solution was recommended by one of my neighbors who said that her doctor told her that they don’t like witch hazel and could be properly removed by dipping a pair of tweezers in witch hazel and then using the tweezers to slowly twist them back and forth until they release.

I also learned in researching it myself that it’s a bad idea to try to get them to release by holding a lit match or cigarette near them or by trying to smother them with petroleum jelly as these methods can cause them to regurgitate into the wound and cause further problems from bacteria, etc. that wouldn’t normally be transmitted otherwise.

I concur. The itch is sometimes very distracting. They like to be under waistbands, socks, armpits and other close places. As others have said, I usually feel the tiny little feed walking about looking for a place to latch on to. :slight_smile:

I’ve found them on my neck, head, around my ears, and around my ankles (when I lived in NJ and PA.) I’ve never felt the initial bite, which is why I always feel for them and check my kids heads when we’re out camping or hiking. But I’ve never found one on myself or the kids out here in CA, knock on wood.

Depends a fair bit on the species, actually. Some, like our local Pajahuellos ( Ornithodorus coriaceus ) are supposedly pretty painful ( but they tend to bite at night when you’re asleep ). Others might be mildly so, like larger individuals of my local transmitter of Lyme’s Disease, Ixodes pacificus. It’s not bee-sting pain, more like a soreness at the site of the bite. I got one on my arm and only gradually noted the slight pain. However a friend got one on the tender skin at her waistband and noticed immediately.

Other species however are virtually painless. So checking yourself after a hike is always a decent idea. Most disease transmission from tick bites is not instantaneous.

  • Tamerlane

I, too, have sensitive skin - I can feel the prick of a mosquito bite - but I’ve never felt a tick bite me. Crawling around on me, yeah, that’s tickly/itchy. But the actual bite? Nope, not ever.

Re: how to remove them – My cousin the doctor says the best way is to use your fingernails. Grab the tick below its head (under where it’s in your skin) and slowly draw it out. Grabbing with below its head with nails prevents the tick from spewing its stuff into your bloodstream when it’s lifted out.

Just an aside, but these monsters can survive for a LONG time with no nutrition. i see a lot of ticks, as i search my dogs regularly for them. one day i pulled off a very small one, whichhad just latched onto the dog. Instead of wrapping it in toilet paper 9and flushing it), I put the thing in a glass vial (with a screw top). I put a label on the tube, and checked it from time to time-the damn thing was still alove, 8 months later. After a year or so, it was dead. I can see how these bugs spread so much disease-they reproduce like mad, and can live on anything warm blooded.

I did that last week and they croaked within days. Lone Star and Deer ticks. I live in the woods. :slight_smile:

I didn’t notice it at all. I had been walking through tall plants, and suspect that one just went from the leaf to me.

Of course, a few days later I had a tiny red mark in the center surrounded by a bulls-eye ring of black and blue about four inches across. My doctor said it might be Lyme disease, or it might not, but shot me full of antibiotics just to make sure.

It must depend on what kind of tick it is. I had one jump me last year and felt it immediately, long before it had a chance to bloat up with my blood. It was like a very tiny but strong and relentless pinch.