How Do Ticks Fit Into The Ecosystem?
With 2021 expected to be a good year for ticks...it begs the question...do ticks serve a purpose?
I hate ticks. First of all, they are just gross little bloodsuckers. Complications from Lyme disease took the life of my beloved CoffeeDog in 2006, a friend’s mom who died from Powassan Disease in 2013, how it has affected the health and lives of friends, and its impact on my health. Tick-related diseases suck.
What are they good for? Well, it turns out they do serve a purpose. I am not talking about how some theorize that ticks have been weaponized to spread disease ( I will let you marinate on that theory yourself); they have a role in nature.
They are a food source for birds, reptiles, and amphibians. So, in theory, having those animals round will help to keep your tick population down. If there is an overabundance of ticks in an area, it could also mean that there are problems with the overall health of those natural predators of the ticks.
Ticks also play a role in the overall health of our natural ecosystems. According to scienceing.com, they play a role in the ecosystem by spreading disease and helping to keep wild animal populations in check, and killing the weaker animals. Survival of the fittest, baby!
Does any of this change my mind on if I feel they should be allowed to exist? Nope. We need to avoid them when out and about, do tick checks daily (if not more depending on what you are up to) the longer a tick is attached to its host …that is you, your kids, or your pets…the greater the possibility of the transmission of disease.
Now here are a few extra ‘fun’ facts about ticks from Health.com…
-They are arachnids…related to spiders.
-They can spread multiple diseases at once.
-Not everyone gets the bullseye rash.
-There is a Lyme disease vaccine for dogs, but not people.
There are a bunch more but I am too darn itchy just thinking about this…I have to go take a shower.