Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's a Tick, Dear!

I used to love doing Friday Farmgirl posts.  Such a nice group of ladies.  

Anyhow, with the boom in the tick population this year here in Michigan I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this post.  We have officially seen more ticks already this year than we did all last year, and it's not even summer yet!  They are being spotted in areas where they were before uncommon.  This family will be getting chickens soon, and I hope that helps.  Ticks are BY FAR my least favorite aspect of country living.  If you don't know much about them, or you would like to refresh your memory, here is the post I wrote two years ago on the subject:

One thing I could not have foreseen with moving from the city to the country was the sheer amount of bugs.  Seriously!  I knew there would be many more, as our lot was so small where we were, we had no trees, barely any grass, and a small garden.  It was a rare occasion for us to be bothered by mosquitoes.  Even though I knew there would be more, I really had no idea how many.  Not to mention there are some, at least one for sure, that you have to kind of worry about.  

It's a viscous little critter.  It's sneaky.  It lives just about anywhere.  It can cling on for dear life.  It gives no indication of its presence.  That is, unless you actually feel it move.  It can get in your hair, under your clothes, or even hitch a ride on your pet.  Have you guessed it yet?  What if I tell you it can burrow into your skin and give you a life-threatening disease?  Well, you have to have guessed by now.  It's a tick of course.

Fun, fun, fun...

So, what should we really know about these little bugs that tend to be out in droves this time of year?  First and foremost you need to be aware of their presence and on the lookout for them after any time spent outside at all for any length of time.  Seriously.  I had one crawl on the cuff of my hoodie one day as I sat on the couch after just being out on the grass for a few minutes.  Lord knows if I brought it in with me, or if it was already in the house.  Either way that little critter was hanging on to my cuff for dear life.  It took a little effort on my part to get it unattached and down the drain.  That's where I send all unwelcome 'guests' in my home.  Down the kitchen sink they go!

The first tick I had on me here was on the nape of my neck right at my hairline.  Creepy!  I was standing by the kitchen sink talking with my mom and hubby after spending the day working on the row of lilacs pictured in my last Friday Farmgirls post.  Fortunately I felt the little sucker crawling on me.  When I grabbed it, thinking it was a Box Elder Bug, imagine my surprise to see it was a tick.  Also, imagine the speed in which it got rinsed down the drain.  That baby was out of here!

Here are some ways to prevent tick bites:

1.  Avoid areas where ticks live like grass and shrubs.

2.  Wear light colored clothing so they are easy to see should they hitch a ride.

3.  Tuck in your pant legs if at all possible to avoid them crawling up your pant leg.

     NOTE:  I highly recommend this as this is the way the last three known ticks made their way into our   house.  Hubby had fallen asleep on the couch after working hard outside.  He and I had also gone for a walk down our south trail and through part of the woods.  Imagine our surprise when hubby jumped off the couch from a deep sleep and started ripping his pants off!  There were two ticks, that we know of, inside his pant leg, and he felt them crawling on him.  FUN!  The next morning I was sitting in my living room where I usually do my morning Bible study, prayer and reading when I felt something in my yoga pants that I wore to bed.  Another tick!  NICE!

4.  Use insect repellent designed to repel ticks.

5.  Don't waste any time waiting to check yourself, others, and pets when you've been in an area where ticks like to hang out.  You want those little critters gone ASAP!

To learn more about ticks, how to prevent getting bit, and what it looks like if you do, visit these sites:

This is what a tick looks like.


annette @ A Net In Time said...

Good luck in your battle of avoiding ticks. They are annoying and can be dangerous too.

Tina Smith said...

Thanks! I just detest those darned things. We haven't had one in a week, and I am thankful. Fortunately, we always catch them quickly. So far, no worries on the danger part. That sure would stink!

Kym T said...

I hate ticks!! It's time to get back in the summertime habit of nightly tick-checks.

Tauna M said...

Grody! Fortunately, we don't have to deal with those, but these are good tips to keep in mind as we trump around in the country this summer. Good luck with the battle! :)

Tina Smith said...

Hi, Kym! Yes, we have incorporated tick checks into our routine, too. It's a challenge to remember sometimes, but I've become a little OCD on the subject lately. Every time a kid is standing by me I'm looking in their hair.

Yes, Tauna, it is GROSS! They totally freak me out! You are SO lucky that you don't have to deal with them. Although, from what I have been reading, ticks are being found in areas where they never were before. So, some people are learning something new this year. YUCK!


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