Friday, June 22, 2012


We have a lot of ticks here.

A lot.

Seriously.   A LOT.

We've been picking berries all over the place.   Which means walking through a lot of long grass.  And when I got back to the house last time, I was covered with ticks.

It's just part of being out here.   We're used to them.

I pulled a few off my pants on my hand so I could show you what they look like.   Click on the pic to biggify.

Those tiny deer ticks are the size of a pin head.

The dog tick in the center looks like it has a white patch but it doesn't.   They're really shiny and that white is a reflection.  They're brown with grey patterns on them.

The lone star tick has a white dot in the center of its back.

They're all pretty small.   And very good at hiding.   And biting.  In all the wrong places.

I tell my kids to pay attention to their tickles and itches.  Ticks tickle when they walk on you.   A tick bite will start to itch pretty quickly after it latches on.   If you always check your itches, then you'll be able to pull it off before it is attached long enough to give you something. 

A tick has to be attached for 48 hours to give you Lyme Disease.    That's plenty of time to find an itch and take the tick off. 

You don't have to do anything special to get the tick off, just grab it and tug.  [Despite loads of urban legends to the contrary.]  You can use tweezers for the tiny ones, but 99% of the time you can just use your fingernails.

You can spray yourself with bug spray, but remember that if it kills the ticks, it'll kill you, too.    We much prefer just paying attention to tickles and itches and then taking a tick off if one happens to bite.  

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