You know that sinking feeling. The one you get when you discover that new mole isn’t actually a mole — it’s a tick! Whether it’s crawling on your skin or burrowing in for a bloody meal, this sneaky parasite has the power to repulse and spook even hard-core outdoor enthusiasts. And for good reason. “They’re responsible for transmitting the agents of several different diseases here in Minnesota,” said Dave Neitzel, an epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health who specializes in tick-borne diseases. So before you hit the trail, take our quiz to test your tick IQ. Call it our version of doing a tick check.


True or false?

1. Using bug spray with DEET will help keep ticks at bay.

2. Only two types of ticks live in Minnesota: the deer tick and the wood tick.

3. Another name for the deer tick is the black-legged tick.

4. Deer ticks can be found in open, grassy fields.

5. Ticks can fly.

6. Ticks can jump off trees to get you.

7. No bull’s-eye rash = no Lyme disease.

8. Common symptoms of Lyme disease (besides a rash) include: fever, headache and joint aches.

9. Minnesota is a high-risk state for tick-borne diseases.

10. When removing the tick, you will catch a disease if you leave the tick’s mouth parts under the skin.

11. Ticks go on a feeding frenzy in the fall.

12. Ticks can transmit diseases to people during any of their three life stages.

13. To avoid ticks, walk in the middle of a trail.

14. Dogs, like humans, can contract Lyme disease from ticks.

15. If an infected tick bites you, it can take up to a month before Lyme disease symptoms appear.

16. Lyme disease is not the only disease transmitted through ticks.

17. The best way to remove ticks is by using a pair of tweezers.

18. Wood ticks are harder to remove than deer ticks.

19. Of adult deer ticks, only the males are biters.

20. If a tick fills up with too much blood, it can explode.