Monday, April 20, 2009

Tick magnet.

I tell you: ticks love me. When I go on hikes with significant other and dog, you would think that the dog would be the one crawling with parasitic arachnids. But no. I am always finding American dog ticks crawling ticklishly up my pantleg, wandering around in my hair, finding a juicy spot to bite in the crook of my arm. I am also obviously a real treat for deer ticks, which I frequently find feasting on me.

I have a lucky reaction to deer tick bites--I almost immediately feel itchy wherever I've been bitten by a deer tick, so I can find them right away, remove them early, and keep an eye on the bite. I have never gotten Lyme disease, despite bizillions of deer tick bites. Experts at Cornell say that removing deer ticks before they've been embedded for 24 hours reduces the risk of infection, so I am quite thankful for my slight allergy to deer tick jaws.

Yesterday I got my first tick bite of the season. A very inconsiderate little dog tick dug into the soft inside of my arm, and I had to pluck him off in the car. The little jerks are nye on impossible to squish, so I just had to throw him out the window.

Having grown up in the woods with dog ticks and deer ticks, I've never been particularly squeamish or worried about them, although I can say that I find bloated, bloody ticks on dogs to be quite revolting. Particularly bloated, bloody ticks on my dog Lucius. It's very hard to find all of the ticks on a huge, hairy dog, so there are always a few that slip through the cracks and become bloated. And Lucius happens to have a terrible habit of biting them to remove them and thereby popping them into his mouth, and then drooling blood and foam all over the apartment. Or onto the bedspread. Ugh.

In fact, last summer, on a hot June weekend during which I was participating in my building's open studio event, Lucius managed to pop a huge bloody tick on each morning and come spluttering down the stairs with blood drooling all over. He did this just as I had opened my studio, and I had to scramble to mop up dog blood as my first visitors were entering the apartment. Really nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment