Ticks: what are they good for?

Learn more about Ticks

The Center for Disease Control takes ticks seriously. Learn more about how they help keep us safe from tick illnesses.

Medline Plus also has great health resources if you have other questions about ticks and illnesses they carry.

Been bitten by a tick this summer? That sucks. Well, now is a good time to check yourself for early symptoms of Lyme Disease. A good indicator is a large, bullseye-shaped rash in the area you were bitten.

How do you get Lyme Disease?

Deer ticks are the primary vectors of Borrelia burgdorferi—the bacteria pathogen that causes Lyme Disease—which they mainly obtain from feeding on the blood of deer and white-footed deer mice, and then transfer to us when feeding on our blood.

comic, where a tick bites a deer or a mouse, and then infects a human with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria
People infected with Lyme Disease experience dizziness, joint soreness, and in severe cases, death. That can tick some people off!

Ticks are big in the world of disease.

Ticks in general are the main carriers for the majority of vector-born diseases in the world, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, and relapsing fever. As parasites, ticks spend their lives feeding on the blood of other animals and consequently can be detrimental to the fitness of individual organisms and can help keep populations of some animals in check.

Can you think of anything that ticks are good for?

  • What about from a pathogen's perspective?
  • From an ecosystem perspective?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Marla's picture
Marla says:

Are there any ways that ticks are good for the environment? Food for birds and small carnivores maybe?

posted on Mon, 01/30/2006 - 1:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hi i have been looking for hours now and i cannot find one single reason ticks are benificially in anyway. so if you ever find out anything please let me know i would greatly appriate it.

posted on Sat, 06/03/2006 - 2:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

they are good because they eat stuff

posted on Sat, 10/04/2008 - 2:50pm
tick man's picture
tick man says:

we eat blood and blood only crazy fool mmmmmmmmmm

posted on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 5:13am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I would like to know as well what they are good for. I hate those stupid little buggers.

posted on Sat, 04/03/2010 - 3:48pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

They are food for animals.

posted on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 6:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ticks are useless

posted on Wed, 03/21/2012 - 3:48pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i now no that ticks are no help they just BUG you around!so that is my comment for ticks p.s GROSS TICKS!

posted on Wed, 04/25/2012 - 6:10am
Anon's picture
Anon says:

Guinea fowl love em

posted on Fri, 07/20/2012 - 8:15pm
Howard Wilson's picture
Howard Wilson says:

I agree with you. Nothing about ticks is good. They only destroy everything they bite.

posted on Wed, 03/04/2015 - 12:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think lots of kinds of birds eat them. So if ticks disappeared I'm sure lots of bird species would take a big hit. And then the other animals that either a) either eat those birds would also take a hit or b) are eaten by those birds- let's say other types of bugs or maybe even some fish - would experience a boom. That could lead to more affects because maybe some of those animals, without as many of the tick eating birds to keep them in check, would "overgraze" some other part of the ecosystem - maybe some algae (if it's fish) or maybe some kind of tree or plant (if it's another type of bug). Overgrazing at the "bottom" of the food chain can have dramatic affects on ecosystems. So, in theory, the disappearance of ticks as a food source could possibly have a big impact on an ecosystem. I don't know this for sure, but it's definitely possible.

posted on Fri, 06/05/2015 - 10:07am
Sandy's picture
Sandy says:

Ticks are an essential food source for many reptiles, birds, and amphibians.

posted on Mon, 08/17/2015 - 7:33pm
alexx's picture
alexx says:

Hey- i was assigned an assignment on some animal i hate. I hate ticks,i think they are disgusting, but now i have to right something good about them. What are they good for?

posted on Wed, 02/01/2006 - 8:08pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Borrelia burgdorferi: I like ticks! Image courtesy CDC.
Well, sometimes what they are good for takes some perspective. From the perspective of Borrelia burgdorferi ticks are a good thing becuase they help it spread. Are there other vector borne diseases that spread using ticks? They would also be appreciative of the tick. Are there animals that depend on eating ticks in the wild during their or the tick's life cycle? You have to think outside the box a little for this one - what they may be good for may not be something we ourselves condsider "good".

posted on Sat, 06/03/2006 - 9:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

r there any helpful things for humans

posted on Tue, 07/27/2010 - 8:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Do ticks serve a positive purpose? Ecologically or ??

posted on Fri, 07/07/2006 - 8:53pm
The PIMP's picture
The PIMP says:

Can ticks with Lyme Disease kill someone?

posted on Wed, 03/07/2007 - 9:04am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

People have died from Lyme Disease, although I'm sure you have to let the disease get pretty far before that happens.

There is also, of course, the distinct possibility of choking on the Lyme-carrying ticks. You would need a lot of them, but that would do it.

posted on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 1:26pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I was bit by a tick and didn't even know it until months and months later. It had been feeding on me for months on my back side where I couldn't see it. I'm sure I got it from my Beagle because she slept with me every night! Started having extreme joint pain in my hand. I finally realized it was a tick and the Dr. got it off of me and that was it...didn't do any blood tests or anything. Till this day I still have pains in my joints, but now in most of my joints. Should I be concerned?? He sent me home with no medicines or anything and said I was fine.

posted on Tue, 03/10/2009 - 3:34pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

It seems unlikely that a tick would stay on you for months and months. But if it was there long enough that a doctor was the first person to notice it, then it might have been a good idea to get some tests done. I've always understood it that if a tick has been on you for over 24 hours, there's a chance that it could have passed lyme disease onto you.

And check out Thor's post on "Lyme rage." You don't want to be fooling around with that!

On the other hand, once a tick has infected you with lyme disease, I think the bite location often looks like a gross little red bullseye. The doctor probably would have recognized that when he or she removed the tick. But it doesn't appear in all cases...

posted on Tue, 03/10/2009 - 4:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

yes. seek help now and say you believe you have lymes disease. Tell them the story because they won't test you unless you have a valid reason for suspission

posted on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 7:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you need a new dr. it's obvious you have lyme disease

posted on Thu, 04/23/2009 - 8:53am
Jenny's picture
Jenny says:

Go to a different doctor immediately. You need to be seen by someone who understands Lymes and is willing to treat it aggressively. Good luck. Doing nothing is not a good option.

posted on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 10:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you really need to get blood tests, also test for lupus

posted on Sat, 07/23/2011 - 9:35am
Lyme sufferer's picture
Lyme sufferer says:

You should test yourself for Lyme. I was bit 15 years ago and didn't know it. Lyme destroyed my body and mind. Doctors were sending me everywhere for different tests except the one that actually mattered. Get Western Blot and Elisa done so that you do it right the first time. And change the doctor. Obviously this one needs to be re-licensed. Lyme is one of the most common diseases and most commonly misdiagnosed.

posted on Wed, 08/08/2012 - 4:49pm
Tiger Beast's picture
Tiger Beast says:

This is probably REALLY late but yes you should probably see a different doctor, I hope you did it already because you might have lyme disease if your JOINTS are hurting because those are the symptoms.

posted on Sun, 09/09/2012 - 8:25am
NurseBree79's picture
NurseBree79 says:

Oh honey, you should ABSOLUTELY be concerned! Have you experienced fevers too? This is years ago that you posted this, and I pray that you have gotten the tests and if needed, the treatment as well.

posted on Sun, 09/01/2013 - 1:13pm
Chris T's picture
Chris T says:

That was very unprofessional of the doctor you should have been tested for lymes disease and bells paulsy joint pain is a symptom of both medication should have been administered you should take legal action retroactively

posted on Sat, 07/19/2014 - 9:15am
Molly Wence's picture
Molly Wence says:

yes, they can. But, only in severe cases.

posted on Thu, 07/11/2013 - 12:22am
NurseBree79's picture
NurseBree79 says:

Yes. You can die from Lyme's Disease. I had a 17-year-old female patient with Lyme's Disease a couple of years ago that was admitted to the hospital due to spiking, out of control fevers and muscle pain that truly needed to be treated not just with Norco, (a strong painkiller that is similar to Vicodin but is double the opiate and less APAP, or Tylenol: also EXTREMELY addictive and I would use caution with ANY opiate [pain med]), but also IV Morphine.
We have medications to treat it and antibiotics to cure it, but because in her case she was diagnosed in the later stages of it she had recurrent, persistent symptoms. We had her on another coarse of antibiotics again, and I hope it worked for her...she may have come back and had another Nurse or been on a different floor, but I didn't see her again, and hope and pray that she finally became free of this awful, painful disease.
Hope that helps!

posted on Sun, 09/01/2013 - 1:04pm
Lymie's picture
Lymie says:

Yes many people have died from Lyme disease. If you go untreated with Lyme disease it will kill you.

posted on Sat, 05/31/2014 - 3:08am
Darcy Root's picture
Darcy Root says:

Does anyone know if there are long term health effects from RMSF?

posted on Tue, 04/10/2007 - 4:57pm
Talia's picture
Talia says:

What do ticks do that is good for the world? I thought everything had something good for the world. Some purpose.

posted on Sun, 05/27/2007 - 8:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My 4 year old grandson asked me this same question...so far we have not found the answer...except that they do supply food for small creatures

posted on Tue, 04/14/2009 - 7:06am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

well if little animals or creatures eat ticks and if all of a sudden all the ticks disapered some animals would die because the small creatures wont be able to eat ticks and then they will die and what ever animal eats that small creature may die and so on so ticks have a reason to be around even know they can do harmful things to humans.

posted on Sat, 05/29/2010 - 5:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i just got bit by a tick. not good

posted on Sun, 07/01/2007 - 12:01pm
Duperel's picture
Duperel says:

What happened then??


posted on Wed, 10/09/2013 - 6:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ticks are just a nussance

posted on Sat, 09/08/2007 - 10:13pm
treepatrol's picture
treepatrol says:

If you want to learn about ticks and lyme disease and TBI's tick borne diseases goto Lymenet.org , or
lymePA.org , or goto http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.html , and heres the Drs site, http://www.ilads.org/
This below is a link called Newbies Links on lymenet.

and one more site it has plenty of Lyme Literate literature->

posted on Thu, 09/13/2007 - 6:39am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

CHICKENS & GUINEAS LOVE TICKS! Ticks serve no other purpose than to slowly bleed every creature in the world!

posted on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 8:04am
ticklover's picture
ticklover says:

i like ticks. I live in the country though so thats why i guess. I dont care if they bite me i like to pick them off anyway. I wont get any diseases ive been bit lots of time i aint getting lymes disease.

posted on Sat, 10/04/2008 - 2:49pm
Linda Dickson's picture
Linda Dickson says:

Well i think that ticks are just little problems in life so i dont care much but what are they really for caring diseases and hurting and maybe killing people i just got bit on Oct,27,08 so they really suck.

posted on Mon, 10/27/2008 - 9:22am
ruthifonlaja's picture
ruthifonlaja says:

i am scared of trick

posted on Mon, 10/27/2008 - 10:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I AM REALLY REALLY SCARED OF TICKS MORE THEN ANYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 6:12pm
mentor242's picture
mentor242 says:

Ticks are good for thinning out the population of certain animals by sucking on their blood and weakening them so another predator can kill them. For many herds of deer, for example, there may not be enough food for the entire herd to survive the winter so the ticks help weed out the weak members of the herd. It's the same idea behind why humans are allowed to hunt deer for a couple of weeks every year, I'm sure in spite of PETA!

posted on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 1:45pm
tickboy's picture
tickboy says:

ticks are ill

posted on Thu, 04/02/2009 - 8:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i have to say why ticks are good and why there bad i have ALOT of BAD things but no good ):
i need help!!! please help me )::

posted on Thu, 05/14/2009 - 6:14pm
tickhater's picture
tickhater says:

maybe taking the bad blood and then to the good blood but i still hate them

posted on Wed, 06/08/2011 - 6:37am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Seriously, There is nothing good about ticks. We should find a way to make them extinct. Ok so they spread diseases...well so do mosquitoes and I'm sure the little animals that eat them can find something else. They serve no real purpose besides scaring the crap out of me. They are disgusting yuck yuck yuck. I just had one on my leg and now I feel like they are crawling all over me. GROSS. Death to all woodticks!!!

posted on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 6:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i was at my dads house for a week and i went back to moms house and took a shower. i was washing my body and i found a tick on my right hip AND IT WAS ATACHED. I got out and (dont laugh) threw it in the grabage!!!!!

posted on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 7:49pm
Jonathan's picture
Jonathan says:

I always notice them (the ticks) before it has a chance to bite me, it tickles when it crawls on me. I always look for more ticks after I've killed one, so there's no chance I would ever get bitten. I never go out with the dog when it's summer, I leave that to the rest of the family. But I can't help to pet it from time to time. Tick hater for LIFE!

posted on Sat, 07/11/2009 - 4:22am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you are never going to be able to comppletely avoid ticks, so you may as well just take necessary precautions, but dont let it ruin your life

posted on Sat, 07/11/2009 - 1:45pm
PAT-RIOT's picture
PAT-RIOT says:

Actually, scientists have figured out how to use the anti-coagulant from the salivary glands of ticks. Some of the molecules are 70% more effective than any blood thinner in use.

posted on Tue, 11/10/2009 - 4:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Take it from somebody who lives in the county with the highest rate of lyme disease in the world that the tick serves no beneficial purpose to the ecosystem. Trying to reason why ticks are good is like saying cancer is good. I'm hopeful that science will come up with a way to eliminate all ticks.

posted on Thu, 11/12/2009 - 7:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ticks = hate

posted on Fri, 04/09/2010 - 9:32pm
Jim in Danbury, Wi's picture
Jim in Danbury, Wi says:

God made ticks so they can't be all bad. We just don't know the complete story yet. Maybe something will develop from tick juice that will cure cancer, or eliminate autism, etc. etc. Guinea fowl like to eat ticks and they are fun to raise. They are the goofiest bird I have ever seen. You can do something to keep ticks away, use Mosquito Barrier on your yard. It's primary ingredient is garlic and it doesn’t hurt anything except mosquitoes and ticks.

posted on Sun, 04/18/2010 - 7:20am
Frantic's picture
Frantic says:

By FAR the easiest place to find ticks around my house is in dead dry areas of plant matter. You wont usually find other insects here though, so this seems to suggest ticks are frequently meals for predatory insects and may be beneficial in some respect.

I wouldn't be at all sorry to see them go the way of the dinosaur however.

posted on Fri, 05/07/2010 - 11:37am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Does anyone know what the point of ticks are? As far as I'm concerned the only thing they do is such peoples blood and gives them a disease when doing it. I think that someone should find a way to eliminate the tick problem, permenently. They don't do anything good for the world.

posted on Sun, 05/23/2010 - 9:02am
sierra-life's picture
sierra-life says:

I would guess that the planet has evolved enough that if the tick were eliminated today that not too many things would suffer as a result. Maybe in some hiccups in scattered, macro habitats, but overall ...nahhhh.

posted on Fri, 08/27/2010 - 4:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My 4 year old came home from preschool with a tick on him, then we noticed another one crawling off of his shirt. Now my dog is covered in them! 13 years and this is the first time my poor dog has had a tick! Now to try to make sure there aren't any more inside my house! I have the heebee jeebees!

posted on Thu, 09/09/2010 - 6:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Anyone found a reason for humans to exist?

Except being good for humans, what use do we have?

Ticks are good for ticks, and that's good enough.

For ticks.

posted on Fri, 09/10/2010 - 1:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i hate ticks they are small and very ugly i heard they are most common in summer i saw i won i got the spray it went away and then there were no more bummers

posted on Mon, 10/11/2010 - 4:34pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Ticks need to be eliminated completely. They are the most worthless creature on the planet and I truly hope someone finds a way to make them extinct!!!!!

posted on Wed, 04/20/2011 - 8:30am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This is what I found...............Ecologists often use ticks and other parasites as an indicator of an ecosystem's health. Because ticks rely on a variety of host animals (mice, rats, deer, etc.) to thrive and reproduce, ecologists study tick population, distribution and health to understand ecological trends better. For example, if an ecologist finds that tick populations have dropped considerably in a specific area for more than the past 10 years, he would also expect to find a drop in the population or health of available host species, indicating a deteriorating ecosystem. In contrast, when an ecologist finds tick populations on the rise, it would suggest that healthier host species are available, indicating a healthy ecosystem.

Read more: What Purpose Do Ticks Serve in the Ecosystem? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5149803_purpose-do-ticks-serve-ecosystem.html#...

posted on Sun, 05/15/2011 - 9:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You almost got it, but your example is flipped. It's the opposite. When tick populations have gotten larger, the you know that there is an imbalance in the ecosystem and something is going wrong. When the numbers of ticks are smaller, the ecosystem is healthier which correlates with a more diverse environment.

posted on Sun, 10/02/2011 - 8:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Theyre good for testing out new pesticides and military grade toxins :)

posted on Fri, 05/27/2011 - 4:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

First off the information in this article is quite wrong...

Mosquitoes are by FAR the biggest carriers for the majority of vector-born diseases in the world...Not ticks...Only idiotic Americans would think that Ticks are the biggest carriers for vector borne diseases....Now don't get me wrong...Ticks certainly spread alot of nasty diseases and are despicable animals...But Mosquitoes cause FAR more deaths every year through spreading vector diseases...

Tick borne diseases suck but they generally aren't fatal....Not the case with Mosquitoes...They kill millions of people each year and spread more lethal diseases.

Lymes sucks but atleast it won't kill you unlike Malaria

posted on Tue, 06/28/2011 - 11:12pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Thanks for the information!

However, I'm afraid this article was written by our Swedish former intern, Anders Lindstrom, so the "idiotic Americans" comment is a little confusing. Sure, old Anders got his facts wrong now and again (I haven't had the chance to verify this one), but at least he was polite.

Never once did Anders mention my idiocy, even though he repeatedly observed me getting permanent marker on my face, quoting Home Improvement, slipping on banana peels that I left on the floor, buying lottery tickets, making nasty generalizations about hundreds of millions of people, and walking into crotch-level obstacles.

Anders was a class act. We could all learn something from him.

posted on Wed, 06/29/2011 - 8:47am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

"Ticks are excellent vectors for disease transmission. More than 800 species of these obligate blood-sucking creatures inhabit the planet. They are second only to mosquitoes as vectors of human disease, both infectious and toxic.

"Mosquitoes are estimated to transmit disease to more than 700 million people annually in Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and much of Asia with millions of resulting deaths. In Europe, Russia, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other temperate and developed countries, mosquito bites are now mostly an irritating nuisance; but still cause some deaths each year. Historically, before mosquito transmitted diseases were brought under control, they caused tens of thousands of deaths in these countries and hundreds of thousands of infections. . . . Mosquitoes are a perfect example of one of the many organisms that can host diseases. Of the known 14,000 infectious microorganisms, 600 are shared between animals and humans. Mosquitoes are known to carry many infectious diseases from several different classes of microorganisms, including viruses and parasites. Mosquito born illnesses include Malaria, West Nile Virus and Yellow Fever. These infections are normally rare to certain geographic areas. For instance Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a viral, mosquito borne illness usually regarded only as a risk in the tropics. However, cases of Dengue Fever have been popping up in the U.S. along the Texas-Mexican border where it has never been seen before."

On the other hand,

The diverse and complex ecology of tick-borne diseases (TBDs) is exceptional among
vector-borne diseases.
Today it is estimated that tick species exceed 850 and inhabit every
continent (Dennis and Piesman 2005, Benoit et al 2007). Their resilience and persistence in the
environment can be traced back in the fossil record, which suggests that they originated 65-146
mi llion years ago (Fuente 2003). The Swiss Army knife of disease vectors, ticks generate a
neurotoxin and they can host bacterial, viral, and protozoan pathogens as well, a greater variety
of disease agents than any other arthropod vector (Sonnenshine 1991)."

posted on Thu, 06/30/2011 - 2:10pm
Debbie's picture
Debbie says:

I was bitten on my leg by a tick on a Saturday and ended up in ER Sunday. I had celuitis. Bad news if not taken care of. I think there should be "Frontline" for humans!

posted on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 8:42pm
Haleyann's picture
Haleyann says:

YES. Im so scared of ticks. Definitely need a prevention for humans.

posted on Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:48pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

All of you who think ticks should be eliminated are really sick. We're all a part of this earth and we're just another creature sharing the space. Who are we tell other animals what to do and what to not do. Would you like to be killed for eating and trying to survive? Perhaps humans should be eliminated, not ticks.

posted on Sat, 11/12/2011 - 9:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Oh, don't worry Anonymous. Your misanthropic dreams will come true someday.

Ticks really don't serve a purpose. That's not what life does. It's unlikely that they even curb populations of deer or any other species.

Ticks are incredibly successful because they don't need much. They are not an essential food for any other animal, just like many fungi that have been around for eons.

Should all ticks die? Yes. They should all be killed by some miracle because they are disgusting, dirty, disease carriers and they are a very serious danger to humans.

Hopefully, someday there will be some effort to control the population of ticks. It's gotten a lot worse in recent years. When I was a kid in the 1970s, ticks were common enough, but the disease carrying populations were rare in my area. Now, you can't go into the woods without doing a thorough strip and shower afterward. It's dangerous.

As an adult, I hate nature and the outdoors...unless it's in my city park...and that's mostly because of ticks and mosquitoes.

posted on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 2:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in northern wisconsin. I am so freaked out by ticks I cant even enjoy being outside. I swear I feel like they are crawling on me all the time!

posted on Wed, 03/21/2012 - 9:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

TICK SPIT IS USEFUL! Tick saliva is full of molecules that function to modulate the host immune response. This modulation of host immune reactions allows the tick to feed for extended periods of time without being detected (although certainly not months as was suggested by one commenter). The really interesting thing is that this modulation of host immune responses also enhances pathogen transmission. The molecules in tick saliva are being actively studied as pharmacologically exploitable substances that can be targeted to design anti-tick vaccines and anti-pathogen vaccines. One tick salivary protein is even being tested to help allergic asthma patients.

posted on Mon, 03/26/2012 - 3:08pm
Wondering??'s picture
Wondering?? says:

Strange. I have, had?! Allergy induced asthma for the last five years and a messed up immune system. so bad I couldn't stay pregnant. I got Lyme disease very bad last year, was really sick for at least four months, side affects lingered forever... But them spring came and strangely my asthma was gone and no allergies. I got not by another tick... Though.

Then... Weirdly I got pregnant again ... For the almost 10 th time and this time It's working! Found out I have Lyme disease again..,, ticks search me out and I live in a high risk area. But my immune system is somehow different. Taking antibiotics but the pregnancy has been going along really fine.

I can't help to wonder if these tick encounters did something... Although the sickness was awful ... No more asthma and a baby to boot...

Coincidence or ??? Did the tick do something good? Can't find any science that comes close to this subject except your comment here...

posted on Mon, 11/05/2012 - 1:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I HATE ticks!!!!!!
They scare me almost as much as racoons.

posted on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 4:50pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sun, 04/01/2012 - 2:20pm
aleksandar's picture
aleksandar says:

i found one on me 2 day yuck.....

posted on Fri, 04/06/2012 - 6:09pm
cuddlesjan's picture
cuddlesjan says:

ticks are just a waste of time but i am scared of them i saw one one my leg yesterday CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPY

posted on Wed, 04/25/2012 - 6:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My wife, kids, and myself went for a walk to go pick wild blackberries. A little ways in my daughter noticed two ticks on her. So we started checking. I had two on me, my son had a couple on him, but my wife had approximately 20 on her. We got all them off. When we got home she checked herself and had 5 more on her. I dont understand why so many were able to get on her when we all were walking the same path. Any hypothesis.

posted on Sun, 04/29/2012 - 11:18pm
Abby's picture
Abby says:

Did she eat something different than the rest of you did? Many ticks are attracted to different smells of human body. Thats one hypothesis. I'll keep looking.

posted on Wed, 05/23/2012 - 5:45pm
Abby's picture
Abby says:

A week ago my sister found a tick on her. She normally has no affect to a tick bite. There is no circle but it itches like crazy. Any help?

posted on Wed, 05/23/2012 - 5:49pm
Haleyann's picture
Haleyann says:

I had my first tick bite when I was about 8 or 9 after a day of being in the woods with my dad. I was so scared of it. Just the idea of a bug on you is bad enough let alone sucking your blood! Then a few years later I was getting ready for bed and I found a tick on my inner thigh by my crotch pretty much. I started bawling and ran downstairs to have my parents take it off. They were laughing at me of course but it was horrible! Now I'm 16 and I found a tick in my bed 2 weeks ago, one on my couch yesterday, and a teeny tiny deer tick crawling on my laptop while i was laying in bed. I'm officially terrified of them. New biggest fear, no joke. I already had a lyme disease scare, I dont need another one!

posted on Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:47pm
approvedca's picture
approvedca says:


posted on Thu, 08/09/2012 - 11:40am
Tiger Beast's picture
Tiger Beast says:

I don't think ticks are good for anything. Ticks go in you and suck your blood and a PAIN to get it out if you notice its in you, and they pass diseases. If they go extinct, so will all the bad bacteria or atleast definitely less and hopefully we can find a cure before it spreads again. It's not good for humans, dog, deer, and anything else it gets on to. birds and some other animals might eat them, but what if a tick gets on them too?

posted on Sun, 09/09/2012 - 8:22am
JessicaGreen's picture
JessicaGreen says:

I am scared of trick.

posted on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 1:37am
Aya's picture
Aya says:

This notion that ticks are useful, for the purpose of being part of the food chain, seems silly to me. While many creatures can and would eat a tick if they found one, this isn't to say that a tick is even their main source or diet. Ticks are not a 'common' diet for any creature and are just a small minority of the many kinds of bugs those creatures would also eat. I propose that any creature that eats ticks, eats other bugs in far greater numbers.

Consider how rarely you see a tick in the wild before it finds a host. Granted, other creatures would encounter them more often, being in the wild, but even as a human, I can say I've never once seen a tick anywhere other than on my body or clothes, and rarely, on furniture. They're slow, they blend in with their environment and they're stealthy.

Also consider a ticks life - how long it can take for many of them to ever find a host; how long they wait, just to hope a host stops long enough for the tick to successfully cling onto it. A host simply passing by does NOT imply that the tick is successful at latching onto it every time. It impresses me that they're not extinct, but I feel this is because of their stealthiness; their ability to avoid being a common snack.

That said, I don't feel they are useful for anything other than to spread diseases, and that is only good from the disease's perspective. Nature is beautiful, but it is not so perfect that 'everything' has a positive purpose for life in general, or fits into some circle.

posted on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:40pm
Suz's picture
Suz says:

Unfortunately ticks are good for the ecosystem. We have to just deal

posted on Fri, 11/02/2012 - 2:59am
spring joy's picture
spring joy says:

well first i hate ticks sencod of all the are always out in the summer and third of all the ticks get in your animals fur and stuff and it is sooo hard to get them out of there fur soo thats all i have to say about ticks

posted on Sun, 11/04/2012 - 5:36am
katie cruz's picture
katie cruz says:

i got bit on the scalp and the head is stuck in my scalp.great going to the doc yeah :(

posted on Sun, 01/06/2013 - 10:52am
Nate Dunham's picture
Nate Dunham says:

I once had peace until these ticks came to life.

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posted on Fri, 01/25/2013 - 4:13pm
jlandin1986's picture
jlandin1986 says:

Ticks are part of the guinea-fowl's diet. Other birds eat ticks as well. But that doesn't stop me from hating them.

When I was around 11 years old, I was spending the summer on my grandfather's farm in Missouri. I woke up with a weird feeling in my ear. I noticed in the mirror that it looked like some sort of dirt, so I tried picking it out with my fingers. I got my sister to look at it and she grabbed my grandfather. He had me lay down and used tweezers to get the piece of dirt out. He kept telling me it was just dirt and lodged in there really well. I believed him. He got the tick out (head and all I assume) and then told me it was a tick. I don't remember what my reaction was following being told it was a tick, but ever since then, I have been terrified of ticks.

Recently last year, my boyfriend and I went hiking in a park in Illinois and on the ride back, I wasn't driving, thank God, I felt something on my forearm. I looked down and there was a tick crawling on the hairs on my arm. It was standing straight up with it's "butt" in the air, like it was about to bite me. I flipped out! I started screaming, I flicked the tick to my left, which happened to be where my boyfriend was as he was driving (thank God he didn't react), and I could not stop shaking or crying the rest of the ride home. I had him check me over very good before getting a shower.

Another night, when I had my own apartment, I was getting ready for bed and crawled into bed and noticed something crawling on my pillow case out of the corner of my eye. I jumped up and saw it was a tick. I screamed, grabbed a small container and trapped that little sucker in there! But I was still hysterical. I called my boyfriend (same one from the car), 10 times, then I put some clothes on and drove 30 minutes to his house. I got there and woke him up still hysterical and crying and asked him if I could spend the night. This was at like 1am.

I later identified the tick as a dog tick. I have no issue looking at them, as long as they aren't on me. I wish I could get over this irrational fear of mine. I literally go into a panic attack. Screaming, crying, clammy skin, sweating, difficulty breathing. And now I've moved to an area where there are more than one species of tick and a higher risk of getting one on me.

posted on Fri, 04/19/2013 - 4:25pm
Samira's picture
Samira says:

I HATE those stupid ticks they can hurt my dog I just want to rip them all apart into a million pieces

posted on Sat, 05/18/2013 - 7:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

a tick got on my dog but my dad got it off and that is good

posted on Tue, 05/21/2013 - 10:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Wed, 06/05/2013 - 4:10pm
fulres's picture
fulres says:

which they mainly obtain from feeding on the blood of deer and white-footed deer mice, and then transfer to us when feeding on our blood. Deer ticks are the primary vectors of Borrelia burgdorferi—the bacteria pathogen that causes Lyme Disease— calcium deficiency

posted on Fri, 06/14/2013 - 6:50am
Adasfhk's picture
Adasfhk says:

I've never noticed ticks to be a big problem. But this year I've noticed many ticks including one on my bed, one on my dog, and another crawling on a shirt I was folding, and a few more. I believe they are American dog ticks. I've never been bitten but now I'm kinda afraid that I might.... I don't see any real reason for their existence...they just annoy everyone and spread diseases.

posted on Fri, 07/05/2013 - 2:46pm
Awesomeperson22's picture
Awesomeperson22 says:

Answer to Quetsion: Absolutly nothing!

posted on Sun, 07/07/2013 - 2:57pm
imnotsaying's picture
imnotsaying says:

ticks don't do anything for the enviroment they just spread diseases i wish they were extinct

posted on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 11:24pm
ChanKowWei's picture
ChanKowWei says:

My dog killed by them yesterday :( I feel guilty for not doing anything to help

posted on Fri, 07/26/2013 - 3:42am
Eliz....'s picture
Eliz.... says:

once I was coming my hair and I felt a lump on my neck it was a tick.It was the first time I have had a tick I was freaking out!Ticks are completley uslys!Also once my dog got lyme desis. :-[

posted on Mon, 03/03/2014 - 4:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Ticks do provide a great resource for determining the stabilityof an eco system. If there is a rise in the Tick population, its a good indicator that the eco-system is thriving with plenty of plant life to support host animals and, plenty of host animals to support the tick population. Likewise, if there is a decline in the Tick population it could be an indicator that there is a problem in the area eco-system.

Ticks are also a good source of nutrition for larger animals like birds, bats, spiders.

posted on Fri, 06/06/2014 - 6:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

There is nothing beneficial about a tick. Whatever food source they serve as for other creatures is so benign and/or small it makes that whole point moot. There is no species of animal that subsists with the tick as one it's primary food sources or even close to a primary food source. Every pseudo-bio-medical purpose some smug "everything has a purpose" biologist gives has no concrete factual support of ticks being a serious benefit or staple of any other beneficial (read:not pathogenic) living creature/organism on earth. I challenge anyone to provide a rebuttal.

Down with ticks!

posted on Thu, 06/26/2014 - 12:34pm
JerGuy's picture
JerGuy says:

"There is nothing beneficial about a tick"


You may understand animals, bugs and germs all work together in an ecosystem. It seems specific pathogens and bacteria benefit greatly from ticks. To eliminate those from your statement regarding "what are they good for", especially due to their relevance, seems dense.

Joe (above) put it eloquently: "Well, sometimes what they are good for takes some perspective. From the perspective of Borrelia burgdorferi ticks are a good thing becuase they help it spread. Are there other vector borne diseases that spread using ticks? They would also be appreciative of the tick. Are there animals that depend on eating ticks in the wild during their or the tick's life cycle? You have to think outside the box a little for this one - what they may be good for may not be something we ourselves condsider "good"."

Then you can go one step further and discuss the benefits of the diseases ticks carry, if at any point in history they served a key ecological purpose. (If we are to trust scientific findings, ticks have existed for over 15 million years including pathogens they carry, while some of the bacteria is dated to have existed billions of years ago. .
Perhaps the bacteria that now causes humans to get sick (Borrelia burgdorferi, "Lyme" disease, etc) had a niche a purpose, and were "good for something" back then.

Who knows, we could owe our very existence to these ancient diseases that have now become a nuisance.

posted on Mon, 08/11/2014 - 8:44pm
Chris T's picture
Chris T says:

Scientists can find some other way to test an ecosystems health this does not make them brneficial by any means, when i have my own property i will exterminate them

posted on Sat, 07/19/2014 - 9:39am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What would happen if all the ticks died what would happen with the earth

posted on Wed, 11/26/2014 - 4:52pm
Maria 's picture
Maria says:

I've always wondered what ticks are good for, but I have looked and looked at sites. Plus, how do you get rid of the dang things?

posted on Fri, 05/15/2015 - 6:58pm
Crazy Sven's picture
Crazy Sven says:

I've pulled at least 40-60 embedded deer ticks from my body over the past 30 years and it wasn't until 2013 that I finally got nailed by Lyme's disease. The result was immediate. I got a very large and fiery red rash around the tick, who was so small that it looked like a flake pepper. Usually, I just get a red sore that itches for a week. It took more than four months of heavy antibiotics to get the Lyme's in remission, but I still have a very sore knee joint where the infection occurred. Recently, we adopted a rescue puppy and she became infested with the larger dog ticks during a weekend at the beach. I love animals and have a good understanding of environmental science; however, like others on this board, I despise ticks with every molecule in my body. One post claimed ticks were created by God, like other living creatures. This is not true. Satan has played a hand as well and ticks are his crowning achievement. When I find a tick walking around, or on me or my wife or my dog, I capture it or excise it with strong, sharp-tipped tweezers and either fry it with a butane lighter or crush it by rolling a glass bottle or jar over it until it "pops" audibly. I enjoy using fire much more, in order to send it back to the flames of Hell, from whence it came. Ticks are a useless disease vector and if they were to vanish from the face of the earth forever, nobody would miss them (except maybe Guinea fowl). Mosquitoes are just as bad, especially since bat populations have been declining. The best thing about ticks is the sense of challenge and the enjoyment I get from killing them with no mercy.

posted on Thu, 06/18/2015 - 7:17pm

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