Is there a word or term for the state of a human or animal infested with ticks?

Mainly just curious.


He's suffering from ______.

Don't get near him: he has _____.

  • 1
    Since the answer you said "is exactly what [you] were looking for" does not answer the original question at all, I took the liberty of rephrasing it to fit lbf's answer. If you really did mean something else and wanted a word for the person instead of the condition, feel free to rephrase and explain.
    – lly
    Aug 6, 2018 at 5:09
  • 2
    Schrodinger's Ticked: You're both Ticked on AND Ticked off.
    – aslum
    Aug 6, 2018 at 12:46
  • 2
    If I were looking to be somewhat humorous and non-technical, I'd personally say lousy with ticks just because I like using the more literal meaning of lousy.
    – stevesliva
    Aug 6, 2018 at 17:10
  • /me expects the etymology of "ticked" to appear here.
    – Joshua
    Aug 6, 2018 at 20:53
  • See also nhs.uk/conditions/scabies
    – StuperUser
    Aug 7, 2018 at 15:39

5 Answers 5


Ectoparasitism TFD is the medical term:

the state in which the ectoparasite [ticks, lice] are living on the surface of the host's body.

He went to the doctor with ticks, and was diagnosed with ectoparasitosis.


I don't think there is a word that refers to possessing ticks as a condition, but you could use "tick-ridden" or "tick-infested" as an adjective:

The dog is tick-ridden.

  • +1 We may need noun forms tick-infestation / tick-riddenness (?) rather. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick_infestation
    – Kris
    Aug 6, 2018 at 6:19
  • 1
    It looks like the question's been edited since you answered; you may need to edit to fit the new example sentences in the question. (But usually you'd just say "he/it has ticks".)
    – V2Blast
    Aug 6, 2018 at 8:19

For the second sentence example you can simply use "ticks" - "don't go near him he has ticks", just as you would with lice or fleas.

If sticking to a single word is not essential you might want to be more specific and say "an infestation of ticks" - to make it clear that the subject has a large number of the parasites, not just one or two.

"an infestation of ticks" could also work in the first sentence example. "He's suffering from an infestation of ticks"

  • "He's suffering from ticks" works fine also. Aug 6, 2018 at 23:10
  • @Timbo I'm not so sure , that sounds slightly wrong to me, I've never heard it used like that (though on googling it I can see quite a few examples of that phrase, which do sound fine, so maybe you are right)
    – Ben
    Aug 6, 2018 at 23:18
  • I wouldn't choose that construction (I'd pick the more informal "Watch out! He's got ticks!") but I would understand it if I heard it. Aug 7, 2018 at 0:19
  • Ironically, you can't use the proper term for an infestation of lice as "lousy" is now used only in the figurative sense (as far as I'm aware). Aug 7, 2018 at 12:42


ticky -er/-est

: affected or infested with or full of ticks


If you are looking for an informal way of saying it, you pretty much have the most natural way already:

"he is tick-infested" or "he is infested with ticks".

Saying "He has ..." is asking for a formal medical condition, like diabetes. The most informal of this would be

"He has a problem with ticks" or "He has a lot of ticks".

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