Tick information for the summer

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Thought this was informative -

    If there is one thing everyone agrees on, it's that ticks are disgusting. Add revulsion and fear, and you pretty much sum up what we think of these little disease-carrying bloodsuckers. And as the summer moves on, ticks are getting very hungry — for you.
    Ticks are members of the Arachnida class of insects, related to spiders, mites and scorpions. Their life cycle is made up of four stages: egg, larva, nymph and adult. They basically live to eat food, mate, and lay eggs — up to 12,000 of them.
    They do this pretty fast, too. The brown dog tick's life cycle lasts from two to four months if it has food. If it doesn't get a blood meal, the brown dog tick can live up to 18 months just waiting for you to come by. Talk about a diet.

    Even more nasty is that these critters need a new blood meal for each of their four developmental stages. This means that if they take a meal from an infected animal at the larval stage, they can pass any diseases along when they take another meal at the nymph or adult stage. You don't want to be in their food chain.
    Here are some tips to avoid being on the tick menu:
    • Wear protective clothing and footwear when you are hiking or working outside, especially in tick-infested areas. Ticks naturally climb upward, so on a hike wear boots or shoes rather than sandals.
    Light-colored pants tucked into light-colored socks will force ticks to climb on the outside of your clothes and make them easier to find. A long-sleeved shirt tucked into the pants will help, too.
    • Make it a habit to keep an eye out for little things crawling on your pants or shirt. Don't let them make it to your skin.
    • Try to avoid brushing against vegetation. On many trails, this is hard to do. As you travel around brush, try to get in the habit of looking for small insects. You can see most of them.
    • Get in the habit of inspecting yourself at the end of a hike or after work in a brushy area. Pay special attention to the hairy parts of the body; showering is a good way to wash off ticks that have not attached.
    • Washing your clothes in hot water will de-tick them.
    • Putting insect repellent on your skin and clothes helps keep ticks from treating you like a walking refrigerator. Even if mosquitoes are not around, ticks might be.
    • Pay attention to your pets to ensure they don't bring ticks home. Flea combing helps remove loose ticks, as does rubbing them with masking tape. Carefully check your pet's head and neck areas as well as between its toes. If your pet will stand for it, a bath can help get rid of ticks that have not locked on to the skin.
    • If you get a tick that decides you are the next meal and manages to lock on, it is important to get it off without leaving its mouthpart in place. The recommended method for removing them is to grasp them with a pair of tweezers as close to the head as possible, pull GENTLY and steadily — do not twist off the head. Also, do not crush the tick, as this will leave the mouthpiece in place and possibly lead to infection. It also can inject potentially infective fluid into the skin. After you remove a tick, clean the area with an antiseptic. Some folks use hot match heads or alcohol to get the tick to let go, but this can cause it to inject material into the skin — so be relatively gentle and get the tick to come out on its own accord.
    • Finally, remember the date that you were bitten with a tick, so that if you develop a rash, fever or other symptoms of an infection, you can help identify the cause. This goes for your pets as well.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I once found a rather engorged tick on difficult child 2's scalp. He was about 3 or 4 years old at the time, and we were sitting in the Occupational Therapist (OT)'s waiting room. It was very gross. I managed to pull the little svcker off, but it took some of difficult child 2's scalp with it! Poor kid. He was sure ticked at me! :rofl:
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    ticked him off? ROFLMAO
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I'm a tick magnet. I must pull 2 off everytime I'm in the brush with the dogs or working in the yard. . Ugh! I tuck my pants into my socks and tuck my t shirt in. The critters love me.
    When taking them off, put them on a piece of masking tape so they can't take a bite of someone else in your home. You shouldn't ever touch them with your hands since they carry lots of diseases.

    I'm thinking of taking the dogs sentinal and putting it between my scapula.

    Don't get me started on chiggers.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I had a nasty case of chiggers once, I was rather horrified. I'd been cleaning out a broody hen box after the family had finished with it. The welts/blisters were in the waistband line and at cuffs, elbows etc. I felt like I'd been ringbarked.

    We have a bad tick problem in our area which I beleive is at least partly due to having lots of deer in plague proportions - deer that wander the streets of the village every night. When difficult child 3 was at the local school which has a lot of natural bushland, he came home with several hundred "grass ticks" (6-legged nymphs) on him. I had to strip him off and pick them off him, he had a lot round his scrotum. I also had to crewcut his scalp to be able to find the 50 or so there. A few days later he had another hundred or so.

    Since then we've found he reacts fast to even one tick, with localised swelling. But the fast reaction means that he's on the alert constantly to any symptoms.

    I was mildly amused at your label of "brown dog tick". We have a saying in Australia, that something is so bad it would kill a brown dog.

    Our ticks are cattle ticks, Ixodes species. They start out as pinhead size and grow to something the size of your thumbnail. They are also called paralysis ticks. When I was a kid, we sometimes would lose a sheep (or a brown dog!) to a paralysis tick. It's really difficult trying to find a tick on a very woolly sheep.

  6. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    As a person with long time chronic Lyme Disease (40 years +) I STRONGLY urge anyone bitten by a tiny deer tick to get to a doctor IMMEDIATELY and get the antibiotic.

    Untreated Lyme is VERY nasty, infiltrating brain, heart, joints, eyes, etc.

    For an eye opening movie on Lyme, try to see UNDER OUR SKIN which opens in theaters in a week or so across the country.

    There will also be screenings sometime after the opening in theaters.

    But PLEASE do not leave a deer tick bite untreated and INSIST on treatment, irregardless of what any doctor says.

    Pam R.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I had to grin at your post.

    My research project for microbiology was Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. We had to do a poster board presentation. I included the proper way of removing a tick. Most people don't know how to go about it and use methods that can actually increase their risk of being infected.

    The tick population around here seems awfully high this year. Nichole simply walked down to the creek near the campus and discovered a tick on her wrist when she got into the classroom. Lucky for her it hadn't latched on yet when she found it.
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Funny, husband just found one on him this morning.

    Fran, you must have sweet blood. Before you walk the dogs, do you put cutter or some spray on your legs and shoes? I do this with the kids when they play outside, especially since we have the woods behind us.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this stuff is available in the U.S., but if it is I HIGHLY recommend it.


    It is the best insect repellent I've ever used. Ticks, black fly, mosquitoes, deer fly, all of those nasties that inhabit the north woods and cottage country all summer...keeps them away.

    I recommend the liquid rather than the spray for more thorough coverage, but the spray will do in a pinch.

    Hope this helps,
  11. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    When we were kids we were in the woods until the street lights came on...then you ran like h-e-double hockey sticks to get home. Our parents used to check us for ticks and nine times out of ten we had them on us - the dog would have engorged ones weekly.

    Apparently, ticks when "latched on" breathe through a hole in their abdomen so what my mom would do was take a cotton ball and dip it in rubbing alcohol, hold it "around" the tick and it would back out of the skin after 30-60 seconds because it couldn't breathe. Worked every single time. Then she'd flush the tick.

    Naturally, we'd tell each other that the tick could survive in the toilet pipes and would crawl up and bite you on your "nether regions".

    Scared the prunes out of each other! Ahhhhhh, the good ol' days!

  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Just so you know, the ticks here tend not to be the Lyme disease carrying type ticks. husband had one that looked infected and inflamed and worried about Lyme. His doctor assured him that it wasn't Lyme.

    I do spray cutter on my shoes and pant legs Loth. I wear a hat to keep them from ending up in my hair and neck but it's pretty hot here. It's tough to stay outside in that get up for any length of time. I really hate that spray stuff on my skin. They climb until they find a soft spot to latch on like the back of my knees(several) my arm pit, inner thigh.(thank goodness for underwear) hip area, neck and upper, inner arm. The dogs get them on their snout or legs but their are so thick furred(like wooly sheep) that if you are observant on your walks you can knock them off before they latch on to the skin.

    Chiggers are getting me again all along my underwear and bra line. They are itchy buggers.

    I have to believe if all the park rangers,farmer and working people outside survive ticks and chiggers so will I. I love the natural setting I live in but I have to endure this for a few months of the year but I am cautious. I wish it wasn't like that but you have to take the bad with the good.
    I am going to try the alcohol drowning to see if it works. I know that the hot match does not work and experts encourage people to not use it.
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I've read that a dollop of vaseline/petroleum jelly also suffocates the tick and induces it to let go.
  14. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    My friend got chiggers on her rear end, once. She was miserable for several weeks and had to go to the doctor. She got them from sitting down in a park....they just attacked her. She had big red welts all over her bottom.

    Isn't there any spray that repels those, too?
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    It will inject poison into the bite. The best way to pull them out is by the head with tweezers. THIS is the most important thing I learned from this as DF has ALWAYS gotten some tweezers to pull them off the dogs....never a match, vaseline or alcohol to smother them.

    I had no idea they injected more vile poison if they felt pain or discomfort.

    Also - We use Frontline - on our dogs. BUT we have had ticks on them. The frontline is not a total preventative but it should get into the skin and taste nasty enough for a tick to bug off. SOmetimes they do not. So still check your pets even if you use preventative.

    ................chigger story..............

    I was new to FL. We went riding horses. Nature called, I dismounted and had to tinkle. Somewhere along the trail my "nature call" kleenex fell out of my pocket. I yelled out for another kleenex - and the girls said "No one has a klenex - use some Spanish moss." OH how I longed for the drip dry.....but had been told that living in FL you were more prone to infections so I dabbed with spanish moss.

    About 4 hours later I was home and itching out of my skin. My entire nether-regions were covered in itchy bumps and as a newley wed my now x was having a fit - (remember before my mother in law washed my underpants in Tide and I was allergic?) so now I'm covered in bumps and ended up going to the hospital for some relief = but the best advice was from an older nurse who liked to horseback ride and told me not to put spanish moss near my girl parts because they had saber-toothed-crotch-critters in them and I'd end up back in the hospital. She told me to get clear nail polish and dab every spot to smother them.

    WEll that's easy for her to do.....I guess....I had one heck of a time trying to paint my ......behind with clear nail polish. But I have NEVER since dropped my britches in the wild. So just beware of chiggers.....they are nasty little biters.
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Starbie I was just about to post that. I'd included it in my poster presentation because most people don't realize that the folklore remedies to remove ticks often cause a higher risk of infection if the tick is carrying the bacteria.

    I listed the correct ways to remove a tick. Can copy paste it here if anyone wants me to.