The world is full of bloodsuckers. Some are large, and some have eight legs. The vampire is a creature of the dark: Widow’s peak, sharp fangs and velvet cape—the gentle pressure of sunlight cause these pale-skinned bloodsippers to explode into flames.
Ticks are 20-million-year-old arachnids, and they were evolutionarily designed to chug the red stuff inside your veins. But…
…which one is the deadliest bloodsucker?
Battle of the Bloodsuckers
There are many depictions and adaptations of vampires. We don’t have time to piss and moan about the specifics, so let’s concentrate on the basic mythology, alright? Fantastic.
- Allergic to sunlight
- Sleeps in a coffin
- Transforms into a bat
- Ability to hypnotize dumb people
- No reflection
- Hates garlic and silver (We’ll ignore this one…everyone loves garlic)
Yes—a mythological vampire can rip someone’s head clean off their spine, but let’s assume this hypothetical vampire is not a murderous asshole. Ticks are unable to provide the necessary torque required to rip a head off a spine. Let’s also keep things in their proper context. Thank you.
This hypothetical vampire just wants to live a nocturnal life, loitering at the local cemetery, sippin’ a few brewskis with his pale friends, and not have to worry about someone jamming a wooden stake through his/her heart.
Shrink down low and examine a tick’s special powers. Prepare to be horrified, my bloody friend.
- Immune to sunlight
- Tiny and sneaky
- Ability to smell potential victims
- Ability to sense heat
- Transmit a variety of diseases or harmful health effects
A typical tick perches on a blade of grass, or perhaps a comfy stick, and waits for…well…however long it takes for a walking blood bag to waltz through a prairie. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Ticks are skillful at killing many things, including time, so patience is a virtue they understand very well.
Ticks also have an inherent special ability:
- Painless bites
As mundane as that lovely characteristic seems to be—if you’re not aware that a tick is sucking your blood, you’re also not aware of the potential pathogens declaring war inside your body.
Oh! Let’s not forget about a tick’s tendency to cause their victim to be paralyzed. Ticks cook grotesque neurotoxins inside specialized glands, and the longer a tick feeds, the more likely its neurotoxins will convince the victim’s body not to move. Fun times.
A typical vampire may be able to suck on a clueless victim’s neck, but it wouldn’t be easy. And there’s the chance of a pesky neighbor seeing the vampire wrap its fangs around someone’s thigh, right? Ticks are able to chug blood while you’re busting a move at the hottest nightclub in town. Think about it.
You can be suckin’ down colorful shots of your favorite alcoholic poison, while a tick is sippin’ your blood as if it were a pinot noir red wine. Tasty. Dracula may be smooth, but he’s not that smooth. Your friends would let you know if a creepy pale dude was biting your neck, and if no one is willing to do that for you, please get new friends. Immediately.
Transforming into a bat can potentially be less conspicuous, however, people don’t like bats, and no shit, Sherlock—they’re much larger than ticks. The tiniest bat is still many times fatter than the biggest tick. Think about that, too.
The resilient nature of a typical tick also makes them somewhat difficult to exterminate. True fact: fire is a common tactic used to kill a vampire. Fire is also used to send ticks to the netherworld. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.
It’s All Just a Matter of Disease
If you’re gonna suck on someone or something’s vein for a living, you don’t have to be Einstein to understand that bloodsuckers are naturally full of diseases.
Vampirism spreads by infected vampires who take a quick swig from an innocent victim’s neck. Sometimes they die. And sometimes they turn into a vampire. Seems like a fair deal.
A tick cannot cause someone to transform into a bat, unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean they don’t harbor insidious pathogens somewhere inside the dark depths of their minuscule body.
- Lyme disease
- Human Anaplasmosis
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- POW virus
- Temporary paralysis
- Further information: Department of Health
New, fun diseases are still being discovered. Stay tuned, kids.
There are sickos who want to get bitten by a vampire, but no one wants to get bitten by a tick…and for good reason. Sure. Vampirism offers a handful of shitty side effects, like having a severe allergic reaction to sunlight, for example. Vampires also have a variety of really cool perks, though.
There’s nothing cool about being bitten by a tick. Everything is bad. Very bad.
A vampire explodes into flames during the day, which is a major hindrance, but a smart vampire could sacrifice $3.29 to purchase sunblock. Problem solved.
Ticks are more complicated—a healthy diet full of antibiotics won’t keep you safe.
Symptoms can be subtle, or imperceptible. Lyme disease may or may not induce a bull’s-eye rash, which means an infected individual would have to wait until they experience a severe or generalized malady, and that’s just a fancy way of saying they’d have to feel like shit before realizing something was wrong.
According to ‘The Lost Boys’, turning into a vampire, indeed, causes a variety of strange symptoms. Hey man, just toss on some shades and wear a black leather jacket. Problem solved. When was the last time a vampire spent the night in their coffin because they had a bout of vertigo or cerebral palsy? Exactly.
My Number Is Bigger Than Yours
There are a million ticks, just hopscotch through their habitat and see what happens (don’t forget to check your hair). Everyone underestimates the likelihood of encountering a tick. Ticks are quite common—if everyone knew the numbers—no one would leave their house. Never.
Vampires hardly exist.
You can walk outside and safely assume a vampire won’t take a swig from your delicious vein. Sure. Shit happens, of course, but a meteorite could also tumble from space and smack you straight across your forehead, however, that never stopped you from going outside (…right?).
We all have to take risks, but there’s a real possibility of encountering a tick and it wouldn’t be considered unusual, either. Tell your doctor that a vampire clamped down on your thigh, and you’ll be prescribed a bottle of magic pills.
Ticks can’t thrive everywhere, though. Vampires are pale, cold and nocturnal, so they don’t mind snuggling inside a subzero coffin, or sunbathing in a beam of arctic moonlight. Tick populations are heavily concentrated in certain parts of the world. Cold, hot, and everything in between—vampires don’t mind the snow or palm trees—they adapt to their current environment. Apparently.
Frigid temperatures cause ticks to become ‘frozen alive’, a weird type of homeostasis that allows them to be chilled to the hypostome during cold nights, and thawed during unpredictable warm spells. If ticks are physically unable to be active during cold weather, they simply can’t compete with a vampire. Obviously.
Even though tick populations are much larger, the versatility of a vampire balances the bloody scale.
Burn the Suckers!
Vampires and ticks have something in common: nobody likes them. Bloodsuckers have been ostracized since the beginning of time. And for good reason. There’s only one solution for something that spreads disease—death.
Sharpen a tree branch and you’ll have a certified vampire stake. Stuff your pockets full of garlic. Don’t forget to brandish your silver crucifix! Oh…don’t forget the bottle of holy water, either. You’ll need it.
Ticks, my oh my, people hate ticks. Death by fire is a popular choice, and a more demeaning form of death involves flushing a tick down a dirty toilet. When was the last time a vampire was flushed down a toilet?
No one needs fancy tools to exterminate a tick. Lighters or toilets will do the job, and that’s why ticks devote all their effort to not be seen.
You can’t just whip out your Zippo and set a vampire’s velvet cape ablaze, right? Of course not! No one could intimidate Nosferatu with a set of tweezers. Exterminating a vampire is risky business. Innocent blood bags hire specialized bounty hunters to do their dirty work… Expensive? Well…do ticks shit in the woods?
Your physician won’t punch a wooden stake through a vamp’s chest, but they’ll happily imprison a tick inside a Petri dish. Physicians don’t want to bleed all over their fashionable lab coat.
Vampires are a pain in the neck and they don’t even have to bite you.
Look into My Eyes and Tell Me What You See
Ticks are stealthy. Everybody knows that. You know what’s even better? Hypnotism, baby! Yeah, that’s right, imagine being able to stare into someone’s soul and command them to do your laundry or something. Yeah. Vampires can do that and much, much, much more.
A tick could be the most stealthy bloodsucker in the universe, but it can’t charm the pants off its victim. Vampires can do that and much, much, much more. What’s a tick gonna do? Buy a tasty alcoholic beverage for the blonde blood bag sitting at the bar? Please.
You don’t want to know what happens if you invite a vampire into your home. Trust me.
What do you think? Which bloodsucker is the deadliest?
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