Although tiny and unassuming, ticks can cause revulsion in people on sight. It’s not just because they are blood suckers and appear uninvited ready to make us their host meal. Ticks have caused untold human suffering throughout history by helping spread plague, fever, paralysis and a variety of other nasty conditions. In 1982 scientists made a connection between Lyme disease and some of the bites of certain ticks. Lyme disease is a priority for the Centers for Disease Control because annual cases can exceed 27,000, up almost three-fold since the mid 1990s. Frighteningly, it affects the brain and nervous system. And it all starts by being bitten by one of the smallest insects we can see with the naked eye, the black-legged tick, AKA the deer tick.