There has been a lot of talk surrounding ticks and the life-changing diseases that they leave behind. These tiny little bugs are small and stealth which is why they often go unnoticed, and because it may take several tests before you are actually diagnosed with Lyme disease, you could spend years slowly slipping into the disease that has the potential to take over your life.
On a mission to educate people on how ticks can embed themselves in your skin without you knowing, the CDC wanted to show the public just how small and hard to recognize these bugs really can be. They took a photo of a poppy seed muffin and secretly hid five ticks amongst the poppy seeds, then asked viewers to see if they could find the ticks. Then, they posted the quiz on social media, where they received a variety of responses.
“Ticks can be the size of a poppy seed,” the CDC tweeted, alongside an image of a muffin that looked as if it was filled with only poppy seeds. Turns out there were five ticks lurking in the muffin beside the poppy seeds.
Beside the photo, the caption asks viewers to see if they can spot the five ticks. Upon closer inspection, you can see that the muffin is dotted with real-life ticks. The tweet also linked to helpful information to aid in preventing tick bites.
While the quiz was meant to be a lesson in how hidden ticks can be, several commenters felt that it only made them not want to eat a poppy seed muffin ever again.
Disturbed commenters shared the following:
“I’m pretty sure all poppy seeds have legs. At least they do in my mind now. Thanks, @CDC.”
“A great example of bad messaging. 100% of the readers are upset about the muffin and 0% actually clicked on the educational link.”
Others had a lighter, more humorous comments to share:
“Potlucks at the CDC must be a hoot.”
“At least it’s not an Ebola muffin.”
In response to the commenters upset over the image, the CDC expressed their condolences…
“Sorry, we ticked some of you off! Don’t let a tick bit ruin your summer.”
Follow these helpful tips to avoid tick bites:
-Stay away from brushy and wooded areas with high grass and leaf litter
-Walk in the center of trails, instead of beside the trees that line the path
-Use repellent that contains 20% or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on skin that is exposed. This protection should last several hours.
-Treat your clothing and gear, boots, socks, hats and tents with a product that contains 0.5% permethrin. It should stay on for several washing cycles. There is also pre-treated, longer-lasting clothing available for purchase
If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where a tick has landed on you, bathe or shower within two hours in case there are other ticks crawling on your skin. Also, as a parent, it’s very important to continuously check your children for ticks hidden under the arms, around the ears, in the belly button, between the legs, and especially in their hair.