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HowStuffWorks.com: Stuff You Should Know podcast about "Why Ticks Suck"

Date: 08.01.2010

The images below reflect the timeline of the Stuff You Should Know podcast released on 7/27/2010 by HowStuffWorks.com. Please drop by the Stuff You Should Facebook page and our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

You can listen to the podcast by subscribing to Stuff You Should Know on iTunes, or listen to it in your browser from the howstuffworks.com website

05:50 - 06:25 "Ticks are not insects, they are arachnids", 8:30 - "Commonalities"

Ticks have 8 legs. However, they're born with six legs like insects. Different from spiders having one body compared to segmented bodies. Legs covered in hairs with tiny pincher claw to climb up.

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09:54 - 10:24 "Questing"

Hard ticks go on a quest to latch onto you. They climb up vegetation to a spot where you're likely to brush by with a pant leg.

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10:26 - 11:38 "Capitulum, Mouth parts, Palps, Chelicerae, Hypostome"

The two flaps on the sides are called Palps. Palps move to the side during the biting process. Chelicerae act as a cutting tool for a tick. Hypostome is the long barbed needle with curved back, fish hook like, teeth. These teeth on the Hypostome are part of the reason ticks are hard to remove.

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12:45 "Eat so they can grow up and reproduce and die"

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13:35 - 13:50 "Size of a sesame seed to a size of a thumbnail, to big purple balloons"

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14:30 - 14:46 "Fall off and lay eggs after mating. As many as 18,000 eggs. Caviar!"

Engorged Female Deer Tick Lays About 1,500 Eggs

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15:43 "Tick Life cycle"

Six legged Larvae hatch from eggs the size of a 12 pt period. They then find a blood meal from mice, chipmunks, or anything with blood. After larvae have their bloodmeal, they molt into nymphs.

TERC just released a 1.5 minute video on how Deer ticks become infected: Watch a video about this process Stuff You Should Know Stuff You Should Know Stuff You Should Know Stuff You Should Know

21:00-24:00 "Disease discussion"

Common diseased host are mice and chipmunks

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TERC recommends you visit the tick identification page to learn more about what species transmit disease.

22:45 "Short film on lyme disease" You should watch our documentary Hidden in the Leaves

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24:00 - 24:15 - "Takes about four hours for a tick to transmit disease"

Most tick-transmitted pathogens are only transmitted after a 24 hr or longer delay following tick attachment. The good news is that DAILY TICK CHECKS PREVENT MOST INFECTIONS!

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24:37 - 25:13 "Combat ticks"

Also mentioned in the intro from 01:14 - 02:20 "Worst place you ever had a tick". The Tick Bite Locator will help guide you to find common biting areas on the human body, Tick Bite Locator

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25:14 - 27:35 "Use Tweezers"

If you find a tick, there is only one way to remove it , pointy tweezers. Common household tweezers are too big and risk tearing the tick. Also, definitely don't listen to folk lore like burning attached ticks off your body. They don't work and they're not safe.

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27:35 - 28:50 "What to wear"

"Light colored clothing, long sleeves, tuck your pants into socks or boots, wear gloves, insect repellent". While we recognize how effective tucking your pants into your socks can be, it's not a widely utilized strategy. Most people don't like the look, and in summer, people don't tend to wear long pants anyway.

It's possible to get great protection by wearing tick repellent clothing, it makes everyday tick-bite protection as easy as getting dressed in the morning. .Learn more about all of the best ways to protect yourself in our Protect Yourself section.

Check out the findings from a tick-bite protection study at URI that compared regular summer clothes to tick-repellent summer clothes.

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28:50 - 29:27 "Working in the yard"

“Keep your yard mowed, your all set.” While this is a good idea, there's a little more to it for “best practices”. Complete yard management works to eliminate tick habitat, discourage (by not attracting) tick-carrying wildlife, and applying tick control treatments in suitable tick habitats at the most appropriate times of the tick season.

For example, deer ticks are not likely to survive in the middle of a sunny lawn, but they will thrive in the woody, brushy yard edges, and in ornamental plantings where it is shady, and more humid….like places covered with leaf litter. Raking leaves, trimming shrubs and low branches are ways to let in the “dryness” that deer ticks hate. Pay special attention to places where people spend more time, like along border areas, trails, woodpiles, stonewalls, etc.

Finally, a perimeter spray around your yard combined with Tick Tubes will kill ticks before they can latch onto you. Watch a video about Perimeter Spray Treatments.

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29:25 29:28 "Check my dogs"

Grooming pets after a walk outside through the woods or trails can help protect your pet and family. Dogs and cats typically encounter many more ticks than people do. Because they have thick fur, ticks may take a while before biting a dog or cat. If your dog or cat comes into the house before the tick is attached, their ticks may latch onto you or other family members.

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29:30 - 29:39 "Go around with piece of white cloth"

Sampling for ticks with a white tick flag is, indeed, how tick biologists evaluate tick encounter risk. However, we often discourage folks from doing this on their own as it would likely increase the risk that tiny ticks will latch on. If you still want to give it a try, be sure that the flag drags across the ground and leaf litter, and be sure to take preventive steps like wearing tick repellent clothing and doing a thorough tick check when you finish.

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30:30 "Tick Infestation!"

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"I listened to the tick episode t-shirt concept"

Post any t-shirt ideas you may have on Facebook and let us know about them.

I listened to the tick episode