Do Ticks Leave Droppings Behind?

Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Like all living organisms, ticks take in nutrients and eliminate waste. Ticks attach themselves to their hosts to suck blood. As their bodies expand and become engorged with blood, the tick eliminates wastes, which tumble onto the host's skin. Tick droppings contain dangerous bacteria that cause Lyme disease. After feeding on a host, the ticks drop to the ground, leaving only a reddened spot where they were attached and excrement in their wake.

Hands Off

When removing a tick from yourself or your pet, pluck the pest by the head using a tweezers, not your fingers. Even if the tick doesn't actually bite you, contacting the fecal matter on the skin with your finger transfers any bacteria or other pathogens in the fecal matter -- including Borreilia burgdorferi, the bacteria that transmits Lyme disease. Swab the area of the skin where the tick was attached with antiseptic to remove the fecal matter and wash your hands thoroughly after you are done.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Author

    A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.