How Ticks Dig In With a Mouth Full of Hooks | Deep Look

The hills are alive … with silent, waiting
ticks. Their bites can transmit bacteria that cause
Lyme disease, and other things that can make us very sick. Protected by these palps is a menacing mouth
covered in hooks. First she has to find a host. She can sense animals like us by the carbon
dioxide we give off. She reaches out with her front legs. Scientists call this questing. It will use that claw to latch onto something
… like your sleeve. Now you see her, now you don’t. Once aboard, she searches out a nice spot
to bite into … for blood. She lives three years, but in that time she
only eats three meals. A tick needs enough blood to grow from larva
to nymph, nymph to adult, and then for females to lay their eggs. Gross. Let’s check out a nymph, a young tick. It’s tiny, smaller than a freckle. To grow into an adult, it needs one blood
meal, a big one. The front of its body is all mouth. It digs into us using two sets of hooks. The hooks wriggle into the skin. They pull our flesh out of the way and push
in this mouthpart: the hypostome. Those hooks anchor the tick to us for the
long haul, like mini-harpoons. While the speedy mosquito digs in, sucks our
blood and splits, all within seconds, a tick nymph stays on for days. Three days, if we don’t find it before then. Compounds in their saliva help blood pool
under the surface of our skin. The nymph sips it through its mouthparts,
like drinking from a straw. When a tick is full – and I mean completely
full – it falls off wherever it may be. Maybe onto your bed. That’s if you don’t nab it first. You might have heard that you should twist
or burn the tick. Not true. Grab the tick close to your skin and just
pull straight out. That’s how you win the fight against those
tenacious hooks. Hey! I’m health reporter Laura Klivans, standing
in for Lauren til the summer. This biologist from the California Department
of Public Health is collecting ticks in Berkeley. At this park, only 1 percent of the ticks
carry Lyme bacteria. But in some places, 40 percent can be infected. So make sure to do a thorough tick check after
you go hiking. And when you’re done, check that you’ve
subscribed to Deep Look. Happy trails!

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100 thoughts on “How Ticks Dig In With a Mouth Full of Hooks | Deep Look

  1. Hello Deep Look fans. Thank you very much for watching! I produced this episode of Deep Look and wrote an article to accompany the video. I know many of you are curious about how to best remove a tick. Kerry Padgett, supervising biologist and tick expert at the California Department of Public Health, recommends grabbing the tick close to the skin using a pair of fine tweezers and simply pulling straight up.

    Padgett warned against using other strategies.

    “Don’t use Vaseline or try to burn the tick or use a cotton swab soaked in soft soap or any of these other techniques that might take a little longer or might not work at all,” she said. “You really want to remove the tick as soon as possible.”

    Time is of the essence. If an infected tick bites humans, it actually takes at least 24 hours before Lyme bacteria start swimming out in the saliva the tick drips into its host.

    So don’t worry if the tick’s mouth parts — the ones covered in those tenacious hooks — stay behind when you pull.

    “The mouth parts are not going to transmit disease to people,” said Padgett.

    Once the tick’s body is no longer attached, it can’t transmit bacteria. And if the mouth stays behind in your skin, it will eventually work its way out, sort of like a splinter does, she said.

    You can read my complete article here:

    Thank you for watching! –Gabriela

  2. Why twisting tick to remove is bad idea? I've heard if you dont do it and pull it off the direct way ( as in video) – tick's head/mouth can be stuck. Leaving parts of tick in the body after removal => more chances of getting decease.

  3. Now the next question how to kill them all. On my dog I take a piece of thread and tie a not down on the mouth against the skin pull the not tight and use the string to pull it out and then they are stuck in the knot also


  5. I was rubbing my dogs cheek and a felt a giant bump on her. I moved her hair away and I saw a giant brown tick. I rushed down to my dad and he took it out of her. Thank god he was there.

  6. We found a tick in our home in where you get water and it was alive and we dont know if our dog has one on him 😭😭😭😭 I am scared and i am crying so much and we live in sweden and im 10 years old and our dog is only 3 years old and he is a collie 😭

  7. Ticks and mosquitos are the only animals I am genuinely repulsed by. I can handle snake and spiders but these blood suckers are where I draw the line; though I would never wish them extinct.

  8. Welp the reason why I'm here is cuz this tick was crawling on my sis and as it said in the vid it uses its claws to latch on to something and IT WAS ON MY SIS SLEEVES AS IT SAID IN THE VID but guess the best part of this is that I kill it and U KNOW WAT IT WAS SOOO CLOSE TO HER FACE THANK GOD SHE FOUND THAT PIECE OF JUNK and also the best part is that at least it was not crawling on me CUZ ITS ALWAYS ME

  9. Also ticks can give you really bad ligma like really bad you can be sick for the rest of your life!

  10. I've only been bitten once. Luckily I was fast and I removed the tick before it really had sucked up blood. Just always check your body if you went on a walking trip through a forest and you'll be just fine.

  11. put rubbing alcohol on the bite-site and i've found it makes the tick loosen it's grip. then yank that guy out, put him in a little bottle cap and smash him with another and then burn him with a lighter to make sure hes really dead. then bye bye tick!

  12. How to be safe from ticks :

    1.take a bath on bug spray every time you go outside the house (or just stay at your home )
    and also bring bug spray when going outside the house
    2.while outside the house remember to spray bug spray every 20 mins
    3.and after you go outside take a bath for 2 or 3 hours
    4.pray…no seriously pray…
    5.and if a tick bites you remove it quickly and…torture it for… REVENGE

  13. But there have been many cases were the ticks head remained in the person's body after getting pulled out- that's pretty dangerous so it's better if you go to a doctor to remove it carefully and make sure that the tick doesn't have any diseases that may occur quick help.

  14. Here in Hamburg Germany, in the summer, or as soon as the thermometer reaches 8 degrees celsius, we try to remember to check our kids every night before bed. They had them often as toddlers, and even now, at ages 6 and 10. Even if you don‘t spend a lot of time outside, you may find yourself with one. We have the lyme‘s disease, but also another called here FSME, which I think is related to meningitis, but I‘m not sure. I know of several people who have had lyme‘s disease, and it is very serious. Apparently in south Germany, there are even more ticks carrying these diseases!

  15. Thank you for video. In Ukraine it's considered that 5% of ticks are carrying Lyme disease. 🙂

  16. God I f*ck*ng hate ticks. Why do we even need them here? It won't damage our ecosystem if they aren't here anymore. Or will it?

  17. Ticks like tall grass, so as long as you stay away from long grass, there is a higher chance to be tick free, but you should still do a check

  18. They can smell you by your carbon dioxide

    Me: tells body to stop releasing carbon dioxide

    I can’t believe that person just yetted that tick. It looked like it just pulled it out like a splinter

  19. Why would anyone agree to be the host, for this video?!

    I'm getting skiddished just thinking about it.

  20. Never had a tick on me (as far as I know) until I moved to central France, Creuse specifically. my experience is that I could feel them with an ever so slight pinching effect. Ive never sought medical treatment though a neighbour or two have been affected badly. I think though that Im going to go over what garden we do have with a white sheet like the scientist does in the video, just to see what it picks up.

  21. Director : we need somebody to get bitten by a tick

    Crew member: ok oh I mean I couldn’t do that oh your making me go stop pushing me

    Tick: “tick stuff”

    Crew member : hey there big boy

    Tick: “bites”

    Crew member : mmm bite me harder daddy

    Other crew member : “pulls tick off”

    Crew member : oh why’d ya stop I mean. Thank you…for that

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