In the spirit of tick season, which kicked off in May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered a friendly public service announcement that wound up leaving a bitter taste in people's mouths.
Because ticks and poppy seeds share the same kidney-shape and are almost identical in size, the CDC thought it would be funny to tweet a photo challenging followers to spot five ticks embedded in a poppyseed muffin.
Ticks can be the size of a poppy seed. Can you spot all 5 ticks in this photo? Learn how to prevent tick bites.… https://t.co/6OZ7tEPJU1— CDC (@CDC)1525465807.0
Suddenly, cravings for the muffin tanked as the picture with the ticks camouflaged within the once favorable breakfast carb made people cringe.
Although the CDC meant to arm the public with knowledge on how to prevent tickborne illnesses such as Lyme disease, people didn't appreciate the example.
@CDCgov What the hell CDC— Jason O. Gilbert (@Jason O. Gilbert)1525486381.0
@CDCgov Potlucks at the CDC must be a hoot.— Sage Blackwood ❄ (@Sage Blackwood ❄)1525478436.0
@urwalder @CDCgov truly. They did not need to implicate the muffin to make their point.— Charlotte (@Charlotte)1525485384.0
@charlotteslib @CDCgov Poppyseeds will never crunch quite the same again.— Sage Blackwood ❄ (@Sage Blackwood ❄)1525485642.0
@CDCgov @HRPrendeville A TOTAL ITCH HUNT!— Brian Brettschneider (@Brian Brettschneider)1525468893.0
The CDC saved face with a touch of humor and apologized for their nasty photo.
Sorry we ticked some of you off! Don't let a tick bite ruin your summer. Protect yourself: https://t.co/zT2cMR2kKW.— CDC (@CDC)1525709319.0
@NewAlinssite @embisejksis @CDCgov You guys are a blast— Wheels (@Wheels)1525808871.0
@CDCgov I don't know who's in charge of your Twitter account, but y'all rock! How many people talked about ticks… https://t.co/xXfcgZrzKz— Caroline (@Caroline)1525752355.0
Here are some basic rules to protect yourself from ticks.
Avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter and walk in the center of trails when hiking.
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. EPA's helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions.
Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find crawling ticks before they bite you.
Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed.
For more information, visit the CDC website.
See? No gross pictures were required. Besides...
@want2brd @tweetbyjof @CDCgov Who gets the poppy seed ones anyway? #Freaks Chocolate with chocolate chip all day long.— Philip Osborne (@Philip Osborne)1525483585.0