(CHICAGO TRIBUNE) — While only a few tick species infect people with diseases, the rising popularity of many outdoor activities and the spread of residential developments has upped the odds that one of those creepy parasites might latch on to you.
"Luckily, ticks don't fly, jump or fall from the sky," vector-borne disease expert Stephen Wikel said. He's a professor emeritus of medical sciences at Quinnipiac University's Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine, in North Haven, Conn.
"They generally move from grass to a living host and crawl upwards, looking for a warm, moist area to feed. Ticks also have incredible anti-detection defenses. For example, their saliva is loaded with antihistamines, anticoagulants and other inhibitors that prevent wound healing, and dampen pain and itch responses; unfed nymphs are so small, they can be mistaken for freckles," he said.
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