Popular Science

Everything you never wanted to know about how ticks hunt you (and how to avoid them)

Your complete guide to the horrifying reality of tick season.
amblyomma tick

A female tick lurks, waiting for her next host.

CDC/Public Health Library

You're probably already a little afraid of ticks. Sure, there are plenty of more existentially upsetting creatures dwelling deep in the ocean or lurking in dank caves. But you’re unlikely to have to actually deal with any of them, and you're certainly not going to run into a deep sea nightmare monster while you're just strolling around minding your own business. Ticks, on the other hand, are everywhere.

Ticks carry over a dozen diseases, literally inflate with blood, drill tiny holes in your skin, and oh, did we mention that actually actively hunt for you? So there’s that.

You probably thought that ticks were just kind of...there. Maybe they sometimes fall and land on your body, or you happen to brush by them on a tree. You assumed that the natural world didn’t have it out for you. You

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