Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Scent of Cedar I, May 29, 2007.

  1. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    They say this is one of the worst woodtick seasons in years.

    From what I have seen in the short time we have been home again?

    That is an understatement.

    What I have been told so far is to use yellow Dial soap, to stop using perfume, and to use OFF insect repellant.

    I already use duct tape to trap them when one gets on me (which one did).



    We have a furry little dog (whom husband continues to walk with impunity).

    We will be having him shaved this week.

    I just panic when these things get on me.



  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My H hates mowing the lawn, but I can't push the mower he bought me for mother's day two years ago - it's huge and heavy.

    I say this because keeping your lawn mowed down low helps to keep the ticks out of your play yard; instead, they like to stay in the wooded areas and high grasses more.

    Clipping your pup's fur shorter will help as well. And perhaps putting some type of tick/flea repellant on him is a good idea. Also, a daily brushing will help catch them before they've embedded themselves in his skin.

    Have you considered spraying around the perimeters of your yard with some type if bug killer? There is one...I think it's called SEVIN...that works GREAT at keeping ticks, fleas and beetles out of your yard. I did it one year because we had a real problem and within a few days, there were none. We had to carry our dogs to the street, however, so they didn't risk getting any on thier feet for a few days.

    I hope you can get some control over this - tick bites can become infected and reall cause a lot of problems.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    My mom and step-dad are having some health issues right now to the point that they can't mow their yard or do house work. I went over yesterday and did a lot of mowing (they live in the country). I was basically covered in grass when I was done and I just had this song running through my head the entire time. Brad Paisley has a song out called "I'd like to check you for ticks" I hate those things so much and made husband do a check for me when I got home. :hammer:
  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I also HATE ticks!!! We have lots of woods and old stone walls where we live. There are zillions of ticks around here. As much as I hate to use chemicals, we really don't have much of a choice. husband sprays the lawn with something that is specially made to kill ticks. It works on contact. He also applies a powdery substance that has to be watered into the grass. He sprays the woods surrounding our house too.

    We have to comb and check my favorite sanity saver daily. Luckily, her fur is yellow and white so it makes the ticks easier to see. We also have to apply Frontline to her monthly.

    I had a tick stuck in my neck about five years ago. It was horrible!!! husband wasn't home and easy child was too young and couldn't remove it. I had to call husband to come home. Because it was so small, I sent it to a lab for testing to make sure it wasn't carrying lyme disease.

    I don't know if woodticks carry lyme disease. You've probably already discarded it anyway. Also it has to be alive if you send it to a lab for analyzing. However, if you get a rash that sort of resembles a bullseye, see your doctor ASAP!!! This can be a sign of lyme disease. If you begin antibiotics right away, you can avoid getting the disease.

    I hope I'm not scaring you. I don't even know if woodticks carry lyme disease. However, lyme disease can be a horrible disease!!! If there is any chance, even if it is very remote, that you could contract lyme disease, please see your doctor ASAP!!!

    There is lots of info on the web about ticks and lyme disease. Hopefully you'll never need to get tested for lyme disease. If you do, there are different types of blood tests you can be given. Not all of the tests are accurate. Also, if you're unsure as to what type of tick bites you, it is a good idea to send it to a lab for positive identification and to see if it is a carrier of the disease.

    Somewhere I know I have the name of the lab I had to send the tick to. It was given to me by a woman whose two children both have the disease and is very knowledgeable about it. If you want the lab and the name of the physician who ordered the test for me, send me a pm. I'll try my best to locate it for you. After everything I went through, you would have thought I would have been smart enough to store the info in a safe place!!! :hammer:

    Anyway, I never heard of using Dial soap. Using insect repellant is a great idea. Also, wear light colored clothing if you know you're going to be an area that has lots of ticks. Long pants and long sleeved shirts are best with socks and shoes or sneakers.

    I hope you manage to get them under control!!! WFEN
  5. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    it's my understanding that it's only deer ticks that carry lyme, but wood ticks can carry Rocky Mt. spotted fever in certain areas - and they can also give you an infection at the site of their bite.

    I used to take those elastic wrist sweat bands and spray them with DEET, then put those on the OUTSIDE of my socks, with my pant legs tucked into the socks. It may seem like overkill, but it really did help. I also gave my boys their "tick haircuts" every summer (a buzz with the old #3 comb).

    I am a mosquito magnet and have yet to find anything that will totally keep them off of me. And I think any chigger in a five mile radius can find me.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate ticks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I try to stay away from all woody areas-I would probably have a meltdown if one ever got on me-yuck!
  7. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Maybe you should come back to FL :smile:
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skeeter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am a mosquito magnet and have yet to find anything that will totally keep them off of me. And I think any chigger in a five mile radius can find me. </div></div>

    I just got an email tonight giving natural solutions to mosquitos. Don't know how many of them work but can't hurt to try.

    OK, mosquitoes..
    prepare to be repelled!!!! !
    Use Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets...Best thing ever used in
    Louisiana..just wipe on & go..Great for Babies

    Bob, a fisherman, takes one vitamin B-1 tablet a day
    April through October . He said it works. He was right.
    Hasn't had a mosquito bite in 33 years. Try it.
    Every one he has talked into trying it works on them.
    Vitamin B-1( Thiamine Hydrochloride 100 mg.)

    If you eat bananas,
    the mosquitos like you, - something about the banana oil
    as your body processes it.
    Stop eating bananas for the summer and the mosquitos
    will be much less interested.

    This is going to floor you, but one of the best
    insect repellents someone found (who is in the woods
    every day), is Vick's Vaporub.

    Plant marigolds around the yard, the flowers give off
    a smell that bugs do not like,
    so plant some in that garden also to help ward
    off bugs without using insecticides.

    "Tough guy" Marines who spend a great deal of time
    "camping out" say that the very best mosquito
    repellant you can use is
    Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about
    half and half with alcohol.

    One of the best natural insect repellents that I've discovered
    is made from the clear real vanilla. This is the pure Vanilla that is sold in Mexico.
    It works great for mosquitoes and ticks,
    don't know about other insects.
    When all else fails--get a frog

    ***I've used Skin so Soft but I've never heard of mixing it with alcohol so I don't know how well it works that way.

  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I was diagnosis'd with Lyme's Disease 5 years ago after I found a tick on my body along with the bull's eye mark. Sicker than a dog; I have some lingering symptoms.

    I took several courses of antibiotics along with a few courses of steroids.

    Always use some kind of insect repellant - I'll take the chemicals over the disease.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Lyme Disease is caused by a spirochaete which lives in the salivary glands of ticks. They pass this on to a range of vertebrate hosts. Some people reckon we've got it in Australia; some people say we haven't. There is a blood test for it.

    Arboviruses (any microscopic beastie which is passed on by an arthropod of some sort, including by a mozzie or a tick) cover a lot of diseases. We've got a few nasties unique to Australia.

    We also have deer in our area, and I'm convinced our local bush ticks have adapted to using deer as vectors, instead of the usual bandicoots. Deer - waist-high ticks. Bandicoots - ankle high. Bandicoots are now endangered. I wish the deer were.

    I still shudder at the day difficult child 3 came home from school with about 200 baby ticks, from the groin upwards. I had to crewcut his head to find all the ones on his scalp. And then a few days later, another hundred. Since then the school has kept the grounds cleared of undergrowth.

  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    You even ask?

    :smile:EEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!! :smile:

    Have dogs, have woods, have ticks.

    I had one stuck in the back of my neck. I felt it land and I felt it dig its DISGUSTING head in.

    I still have nightmares about it.

  12. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    From my experience.

    Flea and tick collars are a joke. The best topical treatment for your dog is to apply frontline PLUS once a mth.

    Whoever is grooming your dog should be able to rid her of ticks when she is groomed and most will have the topical frontline on hand to administer.

    We are in the country surrounded by woods. My husband gets all of our "pest" killers from the feed/hardware store. I would contact one around your way. They seem to know exactly what is around the area and exactly how to get rid of it.

    P.S. They know how to get rid of anything, unless it is a large family of armadillos destroying your property! Sorry, no one seems to know how to get rid of them!
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First giant spiders under the deck and then woodticks everywhere.

    I think Sunny may be on to something! I also don't think I'll be visiting you in your little paradise by the lake.


    I see that you have found yet another use for duct tape. I'll never forget the dock waders.

  14. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    So, I went to my Book Club last night?

    With a patch of duct tape on my arm for just in case someone got a woodtick?

    And the ladies' opinions were split right down the middle as to what we might do to keep them away from us.

    Half believe woodticks are no big deal. (These would be the same ladies who believe hiking through the wilderness is an activity appropriate to humans.)

    And half were shuddering and rolling their eyes at the very mention of woodticks, and found the duct-tape-on-your-arm-just-in-case-one-gets-on-you-in-public to be a very good idea.


    So maybe it wasn't split quite down the middle.

    But there was one other lady who found it quite clever.

    husband just shook his head when I went out with the duct tape on my wrist for just in case.

    Plus, I am sleeping in the other room with the cat lately (who doesn't go outside, either) so woodticks will not crawl off the dog and onto me.

    Let them have husband, I say.

    I woke up last Spring with a woodtick crawling in my ear.

    It was like a nightmare in the middle of the night, where you just can't believe what seems to be happening is real.

    They have to be coming in on the dog.



  15. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    I was just remembering a funny story about woodticks from when I used to work.

    I was a registered nurse, you know.

    So, this person who was a family member of a patient found a woodtick on himself?

    And looked at ME like I was supposed to know what to do with it.

    You believe it?!?


    That was before husband moved me out to the wilderness and I learned about duct tape.

  16. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    I just wanted to say too that the dog and cat both have been treated with Frontline Plus.

    And that I am seriously considering treating myself with it.

    You can tell which woodticks have been on the dog already because they fall off when they are almost dead.

    Whereas the ones he just brought in?

    Are very lively.

    I am woodtick-fixated lately.


    Who else is going to sympathize with me?

    Everyone here thinks I am abnormal. They just sort of casually pick them off AND THEY STILL GO HIKING IN THE WOODS.

    You believe it?!?

  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sorry, I seem to have missed the reference to duct tape. How is it supposed to work? Never heard of this one, and we get a lot of ticks in our area. I got one the other night, just from brushing past a tree (which I suspect had recently been brushed by a deer). I found it before it attached, though.

    I always welcome new ideas - fill me in on this one.

    Our remedy which really worked for difficult child 3 after his heavy load of ticks at school - DEET insect repellent, tropical strength. Wrists, ankles, neck, waist. Reapply every time he goes outside to play. Any weaker repellent - I think they drink it as a pre-dinner cocktail.

    I remember when I was a kid, staying overnight one summer on my uncle's veranda on his farm at Coffs Harbour. I'd slept in a sleeping bag with his mangy little terrier asleep between my knees. When I woke in the morning it was to the whoosh of a cropduster, spraying the banana plantations which grow there on the almost vertical mountainsides. The plane flew to the top of the mountain, cut its engine and went into a stall as it sprayed. It disappeared below the hill and I heard the engine splutter to life as he climbed back up to do the next run. Each time he looked like he was going to nose-five into the ground. I was so fascinated I didn't notice that the dog had deposited a vast load of ticks onto my sleeping bag and they were crawling up to the mouth of the bag. Amazingly, I didn't get any latch on, but there were loads of them all over the calico couch I'd been lying on. It looked like someone had sprinkled dark sand over the couch, there were so many. I think the dog must have been immune - when I checked the dog later, it was loaded. I don't know why my uncle didn't do anything about it - he was running cattle on his farm and these were the ones that grow to be the big cattle killers, the Ixodes species. If he'd at least sprayed the dog it would have been safer for the livestock.

    All that spray, too, for the bananas - and still, all those ticks. Seems like it was more than the dog that was immune.

    I really don't like ticks. We have a pair of very fine forceps which I use to get ticks out (or splinters). A tick never gets to stay attached for longer than a couple of hours - I think we're all sensitised to them, now. And since we got a front fence, we don't get ticks on the property, because the deer can't get on to our property. We're even bandicoot-proof, and I don't think our possums carry ticks except very occasionally.

  18. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Marguerite</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    - he was running cattle on his farm and these were the ones that grow to be the big cattle killers, the Ixodes species.



    With duct tape, you simply put it on the woodtick and fold it up. The woodtick comes off (if they are already embedded this will not work, of course) and the tape, which he will never wriggle his way out of, can be thrown into the trash. (For those unfamiliar with woodticks, they are almost impossible to kill. Most people here put them into an ashtray or something, and burn them until they pop.

    And if you stop burning them before they pop?

    The woodtick just crawls away. :highvoltage:

    So, the duct tape is a foolproof way of catching, and getting rid of them, without having to touch them.

    After the one I found embedded in my skin, I have, as you all know, been asking everyone for advice on how to deal with the horrible things. While I have not had occaision to try this, someone told me that, as woodticks breathe through their abdomens (like spiders do, too) an embedded tick will back out if you can block its breathing passages. Suggestions were to tape it with duct tape, or to coat it with vaseline spiked with hydrogen peroxide.

    One person even suggested a betadine swab ~ not that the betadine would make much difference to the woodtick? But the psychological effect of applying something so strongly associated with killing bacteria and other unsavory creatures is a definite boost for the poor person who finds herself hosting a bloodsucking creature which is almost impossible to remove.

    Again for the eddification of those who have never had the pleasure, it is almost as frightening to realize that one is on you as it is to understand THAT YOU CANNOT GET IT OFF.

    Here is a funny story.

    husband realized, at work one day, that he had a woodtick on his scrotum. But think about this now...if this happened to you at work, is there really anywhere you could safely expect fifteen minutes of absolute privacy while you tried to pry loose a creature embedded in your nether regions?



    Marguerite, how long does your woodtick season last in Australia?

    And how big are those ticks that could kill cattle?

    And here is another little factoid I picked up about woodticks. It used to be that they were easily squished once they had become filled with blood and dropped off. Well, what we are seeing here these days are woodticks that look (and feel) like a kernal of corn when they are full.

    Impossible to squish, even then.

    So you see what I mean, about the duct tape.

    What a worthless little life form!


  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Our Ixodes ticks can't be squished once they're full, either. They're called shellbacks, for good reason.

    When difficult child 3 had that huge load on him, they began at his scrotum. There were about a dozen in that region. I had him lying on the kitchen floor with a strong light, while I went over him with very fine forceps.

    Our tick season basically lasts all year. But the beasties are different sizes at different times of the year. January/February (late summer) brings the "grass ticks", or the nymphs. These are the first hatchlings and they're voraciously hungry. They're about pinhead sized. They have six legs, rather than 8. Later moults have 8 legs. These are the ones that loaded difficult child 3. We'd had a very warm summer with a sudden lot of rain over about two weeks, right before this time. This provided favourable conditions for maximum survival of hatchlings. The eggs lie dormant in the soil from about November to January, although there is a fair bit of overlap. Around Christmas time we have a few weeks' break from ticks, until the late summer storms set in during January.

    Through the year the ticks feed, drop off, moult, hitch another ride/feed, drop off, moult again until we get to the adult, also known as a bush tick or a shellback. A full shellback can be the size of a thumbnail.

    These are also known as paralysis ticks, because that's how they kill cattle and sheep. They inject saliva (anticoagulant) which also happens to cause nerve paralysis in the nerves nearest the tick. The paralysis tends to begin in the back legs and move forward. When it gets to the respiratory muscles the animal is in trouble. The paralysis does wear off after the tick is removed, but there is about a day's lag while the last lot of poison continues to work, until the body deals with it. The biggest problems come from the biggest ticks. These are at their worst in spring, which is of course lambing season. We used to lose sheep and lambs to ticks - it's murder trying to find the ticks in that fleece. Once a sheep showed a bit of back leg wobble, we'd have her in the pen and work over her meticulously, trying to find the tick. We found it about half the time. Some of the time the tick would drop off and the sheep would get better. Sometimes it wouldn't. We'd continue searching frantically, if the sheep got worse.

    The shellbacks drop off and lay eggs (the females do, anyway). They then die and in a few weeks the next generation hatches out, especially if the weather is warm and wet.

    I knew a kid at school who got a bit of tick paralysis. The tick had been embedded in her long hair, it was hard to find. because it was on her head, her voice was the first to be affected - she went a bit husky, it's a classic symptom, plus difficulty swallowing.

    Generally the bigger the tick, the easier it is to remove. We used to be told to put paraffin on it, to kill it. Then it would be easier to remove. Now they say not to. Don't bother putting anything on it (although the vaseline is a good idea - don't worry about the peroxide until after you've got the tick out) because if you annoy the tick, or make it sick, it will pump out more poison. NEVER use insect spray or repellent directly on an attached tick, for that reason - they're not insects, they're arachnids like spiders, and all insect spray does to arachnids is annoy them.
    The rule these days - get a grip on the tick as close to the skin as you can, right behind the head. Try to not squeeze the tick or you'll force more poison into the patient. Then pull, with a flicking motion. If you're lucky, you can even pull out the head. If the abdomen comes out but head breaks off, don't do digging. It will come out, but put a dab of antiseptic on the spot to reduce infection.

    I remember watching an old farmer remove a tick from his cat - he just reached down with thumb and forefinger, gripped the tick and pulled it out. He probably left the head in there, but the cat would have dealt with that. The poison would have been stopped, that was the main thing. And the cat was fine.

    Some animals exposed on a regular basis can become immune to the poison (like my uncle's dog). But loving animals to a new area, where they are exposed to ticks where they weren't before - that's when we lose livestock.

    Here's a website for info about Aussie ticks.
    Ignore any reference to Lyme Disease - this particular group are determined to prove we have it in Australia. I think if we have anything, it will be something different that maybe mimics Lyme. But Lyme itself - I don't think so. Not here.

    Generally in Australia you only get ticks if you're out in an area where there are plenty of both ticks and vectors, AND you're brushing through undergrowth where the vectors also move around at times. It's not as bad as it sounds here - because we're aware of it, we recognise these things immediately and they get dealt with.

    I like the duct tape - up til now, I've just been flushing the things.

  20. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    Our dog gets treated with Frontline Plus which keeps the ticks from burying their heads into him.....but they still grab onto him and take a ride (wheeeee!) into the house sometimes. Usually husband sees them on his fur and picks them off and flushes them down the toilet. One night, though, I found one on my side of the bed just under the part of the sheet you fold over by your neck. I was so happy I found it before going to sleep.

    Here's a horror story for you: When husband was a little boy of about 8 years old, he got a tick on his wee wee. His dad lit a match and touched it to the behind of the tick and the tick climbed back out. GROSS and SCAREY to a little boy!!