Tuesday, July 05, 2011
arachnids, many even smaller in scale than the female deer tick in the photograph below, can carry Lyme Disease that can be successfully treated, but that can also be debilitating for many years. Now there's also a kind of super tick that can carry several very problematic diseases. It has begun to spread through some areas of the country
I'm a bug magnet; they just love me and I usually joke that "they must love Italian food." But it's very bad this year, and last night as I was getting undressed, I looked down and there was one beginning to attach itself to that which most men consider their most valuable personal possession -- I was not a happy man.
I have a small plastic tool called a Ticked Off, a hemispheric bowl on a handle with a narrow V-shaped notch in the bowl. The idea is to slide the notch under the tick and capture it in the tight point of the V, then slowly rock the bowl back, pulling the tick out and hoping that all of it detaches. If the tick has been burrowed in for too long, the powerful pincers anchored in the flesh may not give way and the body will separate from the head that remains embedded.
* With thanks to Doug Taron of Gossamer Tapestry for pointing out that insects have six legs, while the eight legs of the tick place it in the same family as spiders. Still doesn't make me like ticks any better!
Callies flea and tick preventative doesn't keep ticks from attaching, but they die once they start drinking, then they fall off, unable to reproduce. I've stepped on one in the house, squirting blood everywhere. Ick.
Lyme disease can occur here, but it's not as widespread as it is where you are.
What struck me most about your post was the Aga cooker.... very interesting! These must be very rare on this side of the Atlantic. The "Two Fat Ladies" cooking serious from 15 years ago always used Agas.
It just confirms for me why my cats will always be indoor cats.
>These tiny insects...
Ticks are not insects but rather arachnids, the group that includes spiders. The top photo nicely shows the 8 legs. Insects have 6 legs.
Can't wait to see the pictures of your gardens!
You don't put a lighted match to the tick. You light a match, let it burn, and then blow it out and put the hot ember to the tick. This is supposed to hurt it enough to pull it completely off.
Oddly, I remember someone saying that putting peanut butter on the tick helps to remove it - possibly it smothers the tick, causing it to release from the flesh to make for easier removal. :)