Q:

What is a tic bite?

A:

Quick Answer

A tick bite is the area where a small, blood-sucking arachnid known as a tick latches onto the skin and begins drawing blood. Ticks normally stay latched onto the host for extended periods, so individuals who find tick bites are likely to find the tick still attached, according to Healthline.

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Full Answer

Although many tick bites are harmless, some tick varieties harbor dangerous diseases, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. Most bites are asymptomatic, but allergic individuals may experience pain, swelling, redness and rash at the site. According to Healthline, tick-borne diseases may cause additional symptoms in the weeks following a bite, such as weakness, neck stiffness, nausea, muscle or joint aches, fever, swollen lymph nodes and a red spot near the bite.

Ticks are found outdoors in areas of long grass, shrubs and trees. Individuals may pick them up while hiking or performing other outdoor activities, and they may also latch onto the fur of pets and later migrate to a human host who pets or holds the animal. According to Healthline, ticks reach their population peak during the spring and summer months.

Individuals who find a tick latched to their skin may remove the tick with bare hands or using a tweezer, being careful to hold the tick close to the skin. After the tick is removed, the area should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol, according to Healthline. Contact a medical professional immediately if any symptoms are experienced following the bite.

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