Tick Me Off

My father was a logger and ran a saw mill.  He also cut firewood and made maple syrup in the spring.  My life pretty much revolved around being in the woods when I was growing up.   Even now when people talk about going camping I find it a bit odd.  To me that would be like if you grew up on a farm then wanted to go on vacation and stayed in a barn.  I pretty much spent more time in the woods growing up than most people will in a lifetime  

That being said, I still think I could get into a nice little camp site by a river or a lake.  I’m just saying.

With all that time spent in the woods, I never once saw a tick.  As a matter of fact I still don’t know what they look like as I’ve never seen one up close and personal.  There are deer around my house all the time so I have wondered why I haven’t had a close encounter of the tick kind.

Well folk, tis the season!  With the ending of winter they are back, or so I’m told.  I have this friend that is a wildlife biologist at Cornell.  She does wildlife conservancy, deer and vegetation consulting and stuff like that.  It seems she gets covered with ticks all the time.  You could say I know a bit of an expert.  I asked her about the tick population of which I am extremely unfamiliar.  She tells me they took up residency in NY State about 25 to 30 years ago, long after my childhood was over. That explains a lot about my unfamiliarity with ticks.

So what to do and not to do?  First off if you are squeamish like me about ticks since they carry Lyme disease, prevention is a great thing.  I stay in my yard and don’t wander too much up in the high grass behind the house.  I even wear chore boots sometimes just to be safe.

Wearing long pants and tucking them into your socks is a good thing, so I’m told.  A good inspection at night after wandering around in the weeds and trees should be mandatory.

I also asked about removing those crazy little things if they decided to make a meal out of me.  Turns out the best thing to do is get a tick removal tick from Amazon, your local veterinarian or pet store or maybe even pharmacies if they carry them. I know I will be buying said kit soon just to be safe.  They contain a little pair of tweezers with a sloping point to gently grab and suggest the tick to un-bury its head from your skin.  The kit also has a larger tool with a V-shaped slot to remove larger ticks. Try to avoid all the other wives tales about removing ticks like disk soap and hot matches. 

Did I say I might still be willing to go camping?  Do they spray for ticks?  Are there after hiking inspection stations?  The beach seems so much safer.