May 25, 2009

Tick Trio

Judy sent along this slideshow from WebMD. Want to see what some of the most commonly encountered bugs and their bites look like? Then peruse the gallery. You'll feel itchy, be jumpy, and be more educated once you've done so.

You're looking at a trio of deer ticks. These parasites are diminutive (the average adult is the size of a sesame seed -- think of that the next time you're eating a Big Mac), but you still need to be on the alert. These ticks are vectors for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.



















I've never had ticks myself, though I once de-ticked a wild skink I caught. That was fun for a wee lad, as it involved fire (a blown out match, which I've since learned isn't the best way to rid oneself of ticks), a reptile, and blood (the ticks made a slight popping noise when I smashed them). And I got a warm-fuzzy feeling from being able to release a skink back into the wild that was better off for having met me. Not every lizard met the same fate (quite a few alligator lizards snapped off their tails in protest of my handling of them), but I'm sure that skink still tells its grandkids about that time when a grubby boy-hand plucked it from its basking rock and used flame to take away its hurt.

17 comments:

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

eech.

Robin said...

what a nice kid you were =)

Megan said...

I actually spent a summer during college working for my state Ag department's Lyme disease projects... which is to say, I spent the summer driving around the state and collecting just these sorts of Ixodes ticks from people's yards.
This post brings back memories! :)

T. M. Cain said...

Ugh. Ticks. I didn't get Lyme disease, I got Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever at the tender age of 4 thanks to those little bastards. >:(

Vanessa said...

I so rarely use the 'gross' vote option, but this was one of them.
Nasty!

Raging Wombat said...

I tried to be, Robin. Animals could always count on my kindness. My sisters, not so much.

LisaL said...

UGH... I've had ticks on me twice. Well actually 3 times but the 3rd it never got the chance to dig its nasty head in to me.
First time, I was sitting in class. Scratched the back of my head and felt something. So I grabbed on to it and felt it cling to my finger. Brought my hand aruond and saw it was a HUGE grey colored tick that was fat w/ my blood! I freaked out and threw it. No idea where it landed and was super paranoid the rest of class.
2nd time. Was sitting on friends back porch. Felt an itch on the top of my foot, looked down and saw a nasty little tick making a snack out of me! BLEH! Hate the nasty things.

Wendy said...

I got one after mushroom hunting with my dad. Discovered it in the shower the next morning, then made my husband check the rest of me for more. *shudder* It's been two years, and I still get creepy-crawlies thinking about it. Uck...

3Anon said...

Given how I go outdoors and in the woods a lot, I get ticks fairly often. I don't even know how many times I've gotten them, or how many individual ticks I've had.

In many ways, I much prefer them to mosquitoes. I usually get less ticks than mosquito bites, and I can't STAND mosquitoes either biting me or flying around near my ear.

The worst ticks are the tiny baby ones with only 3 legs. If you get one of those, you usually get literally dozens. You only get them on your ankles, which is good because the place where they bite gets really red, swollen, and REALLY itchy (at least that's what happens to me). For DAYS. It's horrible.

Anonymous said...

I hate these things. Every summer we have to deal with finding them on us, "tick checks." We are out fishing and camping alot so it's inevitable.

Danielle said...

I recently had a tick on me for the first time...
I had just gotten out of the shower and saw this black fleck on my stomach. I couldn't brush it off...and then I realized what it was. I stood in tears until my husband came and helped.

(I have mentioned that I'm a wimp, right?)

April Lorier said...

I'd leave a longer comment, but I'm itching and scratching so bad it's hard to type! :-0

Anonymous said...

Omg so we went camping this weekend and we found like 6 of these things. Luckily only one had actually dug in and it was in my hair! ICKKK!

jynxkat said...

had one in my armpit area back in high school- ick- but worse was when my poor weiner dog got one between his toes- he was limping from the awkwardness- poor little guy

ChicChickory said...

Fucking YUCK! is all I can say...my apologies.

Ellen said...

When I was a kid, we lived on a farm with lots of dogs and cats that roamed free. I would spend hours picking off the blood- filled ticks and smashing them on the sidewalk outside the kitchen door! I know, yuck. My mom would get so mad at me for staining the sidewalk and leaving all those spots. AAAHHH, memories!

Jeanette said...

I live in the Stockholm archipelago, which is like heaven to these little buggers. Last fall I went out one day to look for some autumn mushrooms (a delicacy in Sweden, and the searching for them somewhat of a national "hobby"), spent not even an hour in the woods near my house, and found 12 ticks on me when I got home. My husband had only 7...