Sunday, June 3, 2012


I can still vividly remember the first time that I ever found a tick on myself when I was child.  I spent the afternoon picking wild raspberries. My leg felt itchy and when I started to scratch it, there was this BUG attached to me.  ICK!  My grandpa explained what it was, removed the tick, doused the area with alcohol, and that was that.  I spent my whole childhood playing outdoors and in the woods.  In the first 20 years of my life, I found only three ticks on myself. So, they were never very high on my list of things to worry about.

I worked for the National Park Service for 5 years. I was in the woods and fields quite a bit since I mostly worked at living history sites. I did go hiking in the woods fairly often back then. In those five years how many ticks do you think I found on myself?  NONE.

Then, the last several years that I worked at Explore Park in Roanoke, Virginia, it was nothing unusual to find several ticks on myself almost everyday.  I was not wading through tall grass or even getting in the woods. Those things were everywhere! I stayed in a high alert tick mode all of the time.

I have gotten so creeped out by ticks that I don't even really enjoy being outdoors anymore. If I am outdoors, it is usually to sit on my porch or behind our house in an area that is covered with asphalt and concrete.  Pretty tick safe, right?  WRONG. It is gorgeous weather out today and I wanted to sit outside and enjoy it, but I felt something tickling my leg and there was a tick crawling madly up my leg.  <shudder>

I know that some of you are probably laughing and thinking that I am being silly. Well, if you could talk to one of my dear friends who is fighting the horrors of chronic Lyme Disease, you would understand my fear. I actual have quite a few of those same symptoms myself, but finding a doctor who will believe me and treat chronic Lyme Disease is no easy task. I was reading something the other day about how Carilion doctors do not treat chronic Lyme because they do not recognize it as a problem.

I wonder why ticks are SO bad now compared to when I was growing up?  Any thoughts?

ticks at different life stages
To  learn more, click here
(Photo from the CDC)


  1. I HATE TICKS!!!!! Thanks for the link!

    1. I had always felt pretty safe sitting on our concrete porch or in the middle of our driveway/patio area, but now that has been taken away from me too. Our exterminator is coming by for his yearly visit this month and I am going to see if there is something that he can spray on our small backyard to keep those nasty ticks at bay. I know that we have so many ticks here because of all of the deer that hangout here.

  2. Free-range chickens or other fowl will help keep the tick population down.

  3. I speculate that the E P A probably banned a pesticide that would keep them in check...

    1. Possibly so. I hate the thoughts of pesticides, but I am going to ask, just in case.

  4. When the Mrs. and myself bought our first house in the country, we both had ticks. The first time, it was, "AAGGHH. A tick. Get it off of me!!!". After awhile, it was, "Sweetheart, you have a tick". Yeah, I know. I'll get it after supper. You have one, too. ". "I do? OK, after supper".


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