Three times bitten

Being an archaeologist is dangerous work. You might trip and fall, you might get a tree branch in your eye, heavy machinery at digs present dangers, during some weeks elk hunters roam the woods etc. and then there are ticks (Ixodidae). In Sweden it’s most often Ixodes ricinus also known as the sheep tick or castor bean tick. They are vectors of tick-borne meningoencephalitis (TBE), this is possible to get vaccinated for which I’ve done, and lyme disease which you can’t get vaccinated for.  

When you’ve found one on you the itch starts, it seems you’ve got hundreds of them all over, this is of course just a mind game but in this case I found three of the little buggers stuck to different parts of my torso.


Picture from Wikipedia

It’s not many animals I truly detest but ticks are among those, ugly little bastards!!! It might have something to do with the biting or the fact that they don’t have any bones, animals should have bones…

Magnus Reuterdahl


About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

4 responses to “Three times bitten

  • ArchAsa

    Ticks are the spawn of Satan. Too small and tough to fill any important niche as food for other animals, disgusting little bood suckers, and spreading not one but two horrible diseases. They freak me out!
    I was vaccinated before, but after being away from the field for so many years I no longer have immunity. Time to get another shot I guess, but they’re so damn expensive…

  • Magnus Reuterdahl

    Them and Älgfluga, Elk fly, (Lipoptena cervi).
    a blood sucking louse living on elks, deer etc. They’re more common in the southern and parts of Sweden, Småland, Öster- and Västergötland etc. They’re the size of a normal fly, they don’t really bite but they’re damn difficult to get rid of as they seems and they’re itchy – ugly creepy little bustards.

  • SEB

    Ticks are defintly the arch enemy of archaeologists!

  • Magnus Reuterdahl

    So they are but I guess ticks might be the least of your worries while in South Africa. I saw at your blog that you’ll be working on you PhD there the coming years, what do your research concern?

    Best wishes

    Magnus Reuterdahl

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