This Bites! (Dealing with Ticks!)
If I had the power to solve one problem in this world, it wouldn’t be world peace, or hunger, or inventing a longer-lasting light bulb. I’d get rid of ticks. There, I said it.
Ticks have given me the heebie-jeebies since I was about 6 and my mom explained to me what that wierd bug was doing as she pulled it out of my skin. I about had a fit of the dry-heaves watching it pull my skin with it and I decided that these evil creatures were a good thing to hate. Later in life, when I found out that they communicate diseases, it just made my hatred that much more vindicated.
Spring is officially here, with the departure of the mounds of snow and the arrival of 50+ degree temps. I also mark the arrival of spring with the first tick sighting. Much to my chagrin, it was buried in me by my collarbone and I discovered it after a shower. My son and I had been out geocaching, and since we were still wading through knee-deep snow in spots, I figured we’d be good in the parasite department. Wrong. My dog has also had a couple already on him this year as well, since he likes running about in the woods after squirrels and other furry woodland creatures. So start keeping an eye out, folks!
What to look for?
These are the lil’ bastids you’re looking for. All ticks can carry forms of diseases, but far and away the champion in the “oh shit” department is the one in the top row, the Black-Legged, or Deer tick. They are famous for transmitting Lyme’s disease, Anaplasmosis, and Babeosis. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted by the Dog Tick. For a list of other tick-borne diseases and which ticks transmit them, check out the CDC page here. Ticks pick up diseases from latching onto and feeding off rodents (primarily) when they are in the nymph and/or larva stages, then dropping off, molting, and latching onto a human or bigger creature and then feeding off that host, spreading the disease from a former host. It’s all pretty appalling if you ask me.