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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » seed ticks?

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Author Topic: seed ticks?
WPinVA
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I think I may have gotten attacked by seed ticks today. I'm not sure what they were. Are seed ticks soft and squishable?

I was sitting on a bench in a park - grassy area, under a tree, not woods - when I looked down and noticed a tiny dark speck on my leg and it was moving. I squished it. It was soft and squished easily. Then I found many more. They were all crawling, not attached.

What were these things? Seed ticks? Or something else? They were so tiny, literally a moving speck.

Posts: 1737 | From Virginia | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brussels
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Here, the very small nymphs are not black at all. They are almost white, whitish... The bigger they get (still very tiny though), they slowly change colors to light brown.

When they reach the size of this "o" here, they have practically black color, very clearly distinguishable 8 legs.

These are the ticks I've been in contact with (thousands of them, literally, in the last 15 years....).

When they are tiny whitish, I don't think anyone can pull them without smashing their bodies. They are extremely small. If you don't have good eyes, you can barely see their legs.

They smash, literally, like jelly.

the bigger they get, they may pop like fleas, not like jelly... Oh sorry, if I can't explain that all.

Are you allergic to bites? I only can be sure a tiny nymph (white) bit me, when my skin gets a bump, and quite itchy.

I'm allergic to tick bites. So then I am sure it 'was' or 'is' a tick. When they are so tiny, we usually scratch them off without noticing it was a tick (example, when the tick is behind your arm, behind your neck, or head, or back).

Only the bump for me is a proof that it was an insect bite.

I guess people who aren't allergic wouldn't even know they got bitten by so small nymphs.

But by your description, if you saw it moving and BLACK, I don't think they are easily squished anymore. The Swiss black ones are not easily squished, but their skin is already hard when they get black!!

Posts: 6190 | From Brussels | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brussels
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I thought all ticks have 8 legs.

But it seems that very tiny ones still have 6.

As far as I know, the ones I counted had always 8!!

I guess when they still have 6, you can barely see their bodies, so I could never actually count 6.

If anyway, you find an insect with 8 legs, it is not a common insect!! Insects have 6. Adult ticks, 8.

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WPinVA
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Thanks so much. They were definitely not white. They were like a speck of dirt - much smaller than the o -but moving, and smushable. Like you said, like jelly.

I wonder if the ticks here are a different color than the ones in Europe.

I couldn't see any legs, they were so tiny. They were much smaller than a red ant.

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TF
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Here is an article that may help you decide what they were:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/moms-shares-terrifying-photos-of-3-year-old-daughter-covered-in-seed-ticks/

It doesn't sound to me like the ticks here could be squashed. And they were black.

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TF
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Same article but more detail about getting the ticks off:

http://www.countryliving.com/life/news/a43076/seed-ticks-bites-kids/

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WPinVA
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thanks! At least whatever they were, I *think* I got them all off before they attached. Maybe they were baby ants? IDK.

It's like you need an entymology degree just to go outdoors these days.

And the irony was that I was sitting on that bench to avoid going in the woods - I was waiting for my family while they hiked. And then I was the one who got the bugs anyways.

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Lymetoo
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That's when you get out the "lint roller!"

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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WPinVA
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A lint roller would have been great. I'm traveling and don't have one here. Great idea!

I still wish I knew what these things were. Is there any other bug that looks like a moving speck of dirt?

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Brussels
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TF, the tiny one on the nail is light brown already, but still not dark.

We can already see the legs on the nail photo!!

I know their shape, even, by far.

I guess I'm so used to see them, that I spot them by their shape, more than by visual details.


And the skin of the kid, with bumps, that is what I mean what happens to me!

The bumps are much larger than the nymph itself, so it's MUCH easier to spot if you got bitten (than actually seeing the tiny nymph).


Poor kid. I had once been bitten by dozens of ticks in my childhood like the boy.

Dozens, if not hundreds. I found them days later. I was all itchy, and wondering if I got some allergic reaction (whole body, legs...).

After a few days, when I scratched some of the scabs off (I was NOT allergic then), I realized it had legs!!!

I freaked out, and went to check all other scabs: dozens, dozens of ticks on me, sucking my blood for at least 3 days!

What a vision.

Today, I think I would freak less, because I've seen so many of them, and my poor cats come with dozens of them, sometimes.

And in no way I would miss them for 3 days, sucking my blood!!!

It's bad luck when you step on a spot where mommy-tick just laid eggs...

I once saw spider eggs: when they finally hatch, there are zillions in one spot, it looks like pollen flying. Then they 'fly' away and scatter.

I suppose ticks do the same.

It could be then some spiders? their tiny 'nymph' bodies are very soft, nothing like a tick body!!

The tick must have thick skin because most animals scratch them off. Their skin must resist, not like a spider, for example.

I'm always amazed to see how many ticks resist the sharp nails of an itchy cat. !

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WPinVA
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Oh I would much prefer spiders.

I have read that nymph ticks are likely not infected with Lyme yet. I don't believe that though.

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Brussels
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Not true.

Research shows that nymphs are mostly infected if the mother is infected!

I just re-googled it, very easy to find.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269287/

This paper only speaks of infected nymphs!!

The CDC says this:

-----------------------------
Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs.

Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months.

Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are much larger and are more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria.

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sparkle7
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Thank you for posting this! I had no clue...

Here's a link to photos of seed tick nests -

http://tinyurl.com/seedtick

It's kind of gross but it's important to know what to look out for.

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Brussels
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add disgusting to those photos!!

But I agree: we got to look at these photos to understand why one person can catch hundreds of ticks at once.

Posts: 6190 | From Brussels | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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