Sunday, October 7, 2007

Swarming ticks

The other day we went to Mark's cousin's house for dinner. They live out in the woods, right up to a lake. It really is beautiful out there! But, it is very woodsy! And they have two outdoor, free-roaming dogs. The dogs are very sweet, and very loving to humans - but, they are definitely outdoor dogs.

We had some really good food for dinner - too good, in fact. It was so good that I ate way too much and I was feeling really super stuffed! So Sammie and I went outside to go for a walk. Now I know that Mark and the kids have gotten really bad chigger bites out there and he has told them to stay out of the woods when they are there.

But as we are a very 'off-trail' family, I thought that he meant to stay out of woods in that way, like no going off the trail. See, there is a dirt road out in the back of the house that goes through the woods a little bit. So Sammie and I went walking on that road a little bit.

We came in after a little while and everyone decided to watch a movie. As we were sitting there, Sammie and I were getting so itchy. And then I kept feeling things crawling on me, so I would look and see this little, tiny black bug and pick it off. It kept happening again and again. I thought, "Gosh, their dogs really were covered in a lot of fleas!"

But then when we got home, I noticed that I still had a few more, and they were not fleas! They were ticks! OH MY GAWD! I have never had more than one tick on me at once, much less, a whole swarm of the little buggers and I'd never seen ticks so small! I immediately stripped down and checked every inch of me. And the thing that freaked me OUT was that they were so tiny! I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to find them all, especially in my dark hair. It was nuts, absolutely nuts!
(That's a tick compared to the head of a match.)

And with so many people getting Lyme disease lately, it just really freaked me out! I had one on my ankle so small that I almost couldn't get him off - I had to get tweazers. I put all my clothes in a trash bag to sit outside for a few days, and then I jumped in the shower. Because I was so afraid that I would miss some in my hair - I washed, rather - soaked, my hair in Dr. Bronner's soap. That stuff does a horrible job on my hair, but, it is so potent, I figured it would help. I didn't have any tea tree oil on hand, so I figured it was the next best thing. Then after that I soaked my head in Neutrogena T-Gel. That stuff is pretty potent, too. I was quite hopeful that between those two, no remaining survivors would be left. They would definitely deserve little, tiny tick trophies if they survived those fumes!

But I haven't seen any since. Whew!

[Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had the EXACT same experience you did yesterday. I am still praying that I got them all off me, I have really thick hair, so who knows! I didn't even walk in the woods. My husband, son and I did yard work all day and I didn't even get into the thick of things and I discovered ticks all over me when I watched my son play in the driveway. My husband pulled over 30 off of me and they were tiny! We had to use a magnifying glass! I actually just scratched my head after writing that! We are new to our area and where I grew up, we didn't have ticks, so this totally freaks me out! Thanks for sharing your story!