Can YOU spot the TICKS on this muffin? CDC posts horrifying picture to warn the insects ‘can be as small as a poppy seed’
- The CDC posted photos on Facebook of a poppy seed muffin and then magnified the muffin top
- ‘Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed,’ the agency wrote, and asked users if they could spot the five ticks in the photo
- Data shows that the number of tickborne diseases rose from 48,610 cases in 2016 to 59,349 cases in 2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning Americans to be on the lookout for ticks this summer season, even when eating a tasty pastry.
On Wednesday, the agency shared a photo on Facebook of a poppy seed muffin, followed by a magnified photo, revealing that some of the ‘seeds’ were actually ticks.
‘Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed,’ the CDC captioned. ‘There are 5 ticks in this photo. Can you spot them? Learn how to prevent tick bites and protect yourself.’
Social media users commented in droves that the photo had ruined their appetites and had turned them off from muffins.
The CDC posted photos on Facebook on Wednesday morning of a poppy seed muffin and then magnified the muffin top (above)
‘Well, thanks for ruining poppy seed muffins for me – forever!’ one user wrote.
‘Will never be able to look at a lemon poppy seed muffin the same way ever again…’ commented another.
Others joked that the risk of tick exposure was severely lessened if people ate other types of muffins.
‘Increase your ability to quickly [identify] ticks by only eating blueberry or banana nut muffins!’ a user wrote.
This isn’t the first time that the CDC has warned people about tick season, sharing the same two photos on Twitter last May.
After many commented that they were ‘disgusted’, the agency sent out a second tweet that read: ‘Sorry we ticked some of you off!’
Tick exposure is most common between April and September, and often occurs in grassy or wooded areas.
Worldwide, there about 850 species of ticks, but only 90 are found in the US.
Most ticks don’t grow any longer than five millimeters, meaning about three can fit on the pad of the finger.
Health experts recommend treating clothing, shoes and gear with insect repellents that are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, such as DEET.
‘Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed,’ the agency wrote, and asked users if they could spot the five ticks in the photo
DEET, which stands for diethyltoluamide, is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. It was believed that the chemical blocked insect receptors that are attracted to a substance found in human breath and sweat.
However, recent evidence has shown that insects are actually repelled because of the chemical’s smell.
Last year, Dr Neha Vyas, a family medicine doctor at the Cleveland Clinic, told DailyMail.com that there are two other ingredients found in some repellents, picaridin and IR3535 – which were developed in the 1980s – that also help prevent bug bites.
The CDC recommends showering within two hours of coming indoors to help wash off unattached ticks and to reduce the risk of contracting diseases such as Lyme disease.
If you find a tick that’s burrowed in your skin, the easiest way to remove it is with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. After the tick is removed, clean the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
It takes between 36 to 48 hours after a tick has attached itself to infect the host.
Last year, the CDC reported that the number of tickborne diseases – including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever – had risen from 48,610 cases in 2016 to 59,349 cases in 2017.