Once Bitten

If you have an aversion to creepy crawling things, you may want to brace yourself for the following paragraphs.  However squeamish this makes you feel, Country Singer Brad Paisley’s suggestion to “Check for ticks” is good advice for Northeastern residents. The once bitten notation came from the confines of the bucolic Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in downstate Pocantico Hills, New York.  It seems rather ironic to have heard concerns from young farmers about the tick dangers of tall grazing during our pasture planning workshop and having a stealthy, wood tick attach itself during a biological monitoring exercise.  Makes you think twice about rolling around in the pasture. The unwanted visitor must have appreciated my warm armpit as it hunkered down for the truck ride back to Deansboro.  Not paying much attention other than feeling a pimple developing, I kept on doing farm work the next day.  By suppertime there was a bit more pain and upon lifting my shirt, the “site” looked like the telltale sign of a bulls-eye pattern.  Making it creepier was my wife exclaiming, “I can see little feet moving”.   Yikes!!! What should we do?  A question many have probably pondered when faced with this dilemma.  Numerous scenarios of detaching the little freeloader flashed into my mind:  Subjecting it to Frank’s hot sauce; intense heat from a lighter (not!), gasoline, WD-40, alcohol, hot wax, pliers and even thinking of the Warble fly larvae a

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One thought on “Once Bitten

  1. You have never been bitten by a tick before?! Wow. We’ve pulled out so many ticks that the idea of going to the hospital to have one removed makes my wallet hurt.

    Lyme and other tickborne diseases are a concern for anyone who works outdoors, not just those in the Northeast. Lyme is spreading fast and no one should assume they are outside the range. Case in point: My sister contracted Lyme in Virginia in 1990, when it was unheard of outside New England. In fact, today the upper midwest is a hot zone for Lyme – particularly Wisconsin and Minnesota. Cases are reported every year all across the country.

    I work in Maryland and have found that the #1 most effective tick repellent is wearing rubber boots. I wear them year-round, even on 100 degree days. DEET does not work. If you prefer to use chemicals, get Permethrin but follow the instructions carefully because that stuff is toxic. Apply only to your clothes, NOT your skin.

    Tucking long pants into socks does nothing to repel ticks, it only makes them easier to see, and that’s only if you are wearing light-colored pants. But deer tick nymphs are so tiny and translucent that they are almost undetectable even on a white background. That’s why it is so much more important to prevent them getting on you in the first place.

    Many or most cases of Lyme do not develop the bulls eye rash (the actual % is unknown since many are undiagnosed). If you get any weird, unexplained fever/flu-like illness, take at least 4 weeks of doxycycline. This is a very serious illness that can ruin your life. I’ve watched it happen too many times.

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