Mosquito Mindset

mosquito mindset

Ticks are not insects, they are arachnids, more like a spider than a mosquito, yet distinctly different than a spider to anyone that has ever had the displeasure of being bitten by one. They are hard shelled antagonists that attach to you strongly with backwards saw blade like mouthparts, their own distinct species.

However, it may be difficult for most to truly understand the tick and the emerging global tick threat, to separate tick and mosquito as they need to be. This is not without reason. As incidences of Lyme disease and other tick-borne sicknesses have skyrocketed over the last decade the tick has managed to get quite a bit of local news coverage, and this is where most people have heard about ticks, the source from which the extent of their understanding is drawn from.

These segments are often brief and are primarily designed exclusively to generally warn about the danger of ticks, and inform the public of the impending tick season, specific and detailed tick educational content is rarely offered, per the standard time constraints of such stock short local news informationals.

This can have a detrimental effect since ticks are nearly always pictured as part of these “officials are warning of tick dangers” local news segments.  The takeaway most casual viewers are left with is ticks look like an insect, they are a biting threat that presents itself when you are spending time in the exact same outdoor environments as the ones in which mosquitos thrive. Due to the public’s immense familiarity with mosquitos and mosquito repellents, this situation can inadvertently cause the mosquito and tick to become linked in the subconscious mind, and this is a problem.

While many are regimented and proactive with their applications of mosquito repellents, others are not, and therein lies a tendency to believe you will know when a repellent is needed, for both mosquito and tick, if you start getting bitten, you apply a repellent.

That “mosquito mindset” is fine for mosquito, but it can have tragic consequences if you carry it over into your procedures for dealing with ticks. Mosquitoes are not always biting, their activity level is very much tied to the weather and other variables, ticks are a constant threat anytime you are outdoors, and are found everywhere from the deepest state forest to a suburban backyard.

Furthermore, you cannot feel the bite of a tick. Ticks have a special substance in their saliva that prevents the bite from causing sensation, so they may remain attached, unnoticed, and feeding, for the duration of their required blood meal, usually several days.

Being reactionary with mosquito repellent is fine, but when it comes to the emerging tick threat, proactive is the path you want to be on, with consistency.

At Tick Proof we all remember being kids 20 or 30 years ago, running through fields without a care in the word, venturing out into the woods to explore, no thought of spraying down with a repellent, no mention of such a thing from our parents. This is not then, the threat of tick-borne disease is something new, something serious, and something compounding exponentially, year after year. Do not let yourself, your children, family, or friends go unprotected. Lead by example, use a repellent, spark up a conversation about ticks, buy an extra bottle for a friend or neighbor.