Science: Tick Time

As many a vacationer was finding out, the Argasidae and Ixodidae take their vacations in the winter. Last week, in woods and pastures almost all over the U.S., millions of them were ticking along like eight-day clocks. Wild animals, dogs, cattle and men were their unhappy hosts, and not infrequently their victims.

Argasidae and Ixodidae are the two U.S. tick families. In dozens of varieties they infect man with diseases that are often fatal: Kenya typhus, South African tick-bite fever, Bullis fever, Russian encephalitis, the Q fevers, tularemia (rabbit fever), tick paralysis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This summer, in southern Maryland,...

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