Tick Season Is Upon Us

| 3/30/2015 3:20:00 PM

Tags: Deer Tick, Lyme Disease, Dog Tick, Wood Tick, Black Legged Tick, Renee-Lucie Benoit,

Renee-Lucie BenoitYou know that book called All Creatures Great and Small? Actually, I never read it. Did it mention ticks? They are definitely small. However, not being a biologist I guess I just don't have the awe and appreciation of the lowly tick. I don't think the ticks think much of me either. They just think of me as a meal.

I picked the first tick of the season off me the other day. I'm sure you know the feeling. First you feel something tickling you just at your hair line so you reach up and the first thing you feel is a tiny little thing that has movement. What is that? Your eyes get wide. So you pick it off and you look down to see this little black thing pinched between your fingers and you immediately recognize it for what it is.

Then the next thing you think is how did you get there? You rascal you! Did you drop from the sky or did you make your way up my pants all the way to my neck undetected? You're an amazing critter of stealth. If you're like me and have had a little education on the tick you will know they can't really bite you quickly. So like me you might get a piece of toilet paper and examine the bugger a bit before you dispatch it down the toilet. I always dispatch it down the toilet because I don't want it resurrecting itself a la Fatal Attraction in my bed later.

Dermacentor variabilis or American Dog Tick (or wood tick) | iStockphoto.com/stevelenzphoto

Photo: Dermacentor variabilis or American Dog Tick (or wood tick) | iStockphoto.com/stevelenzphoto

I'm looking at it to see if I can determine if it's a dog tick or a black-legged deer tick. If it's a dog tick, I breathe a sigh of relief. It's almost always a dog tick. If it's a deer tick I will keep it in a jar of alcohol and if I ever get symptoms of Lyme Disease I will have that sucker tested. And me, too! Lyme must be taken seriously! I have at least one friend, the redoubtable Robert Cowart, whose personal blog (BobCowart.blogspot.com) is all about Lyme. He got it as a young boy while tramping the woods of eastern Pennsylvania. Years later it came roaring into his life mimicking the worst case of Parkinson's Disease, and it's wreaked havoc on his life. Yes, Lyme must be taken seriously. So I do.

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