Monday, July 3, 2017

IMAGINATION RUINED THE DAY


Hum, did that small freckle on my leg just move?  Curious, I put my finger in the area and whoosh, the tiny freckle climbed really fast on my finger, then quickly to my hand.  This fleet footed freckle had mayhem on its mind. It was either a nymph or possibly a small male tick. I didn't do a genital exam.

I finally caught the amazingly quick critter between finger and thumb and while it disappeared from my vision in that trap, it didn't stop squirming. Now normally, I will take a bug or spider outside and let it live another day. Ticks never receive that mercy from me. I resort to death by toilet which I hope is merciful.

As I finally shook it loose over the toilet bowl, it frantically did its best dog paddle, desperate for something solid to climb on. I hate these nasty disease bearing, crazy itch inducing creatures but I don't like to see anything suffer so I hit the flusher quickly and he disappeared from my life.

Well almost.  My skin almost immediately started crawling. He was gone but my imagination came to life to torment me for the rest of the day.  Of course I could have just told myself, that the creepy movement on my skin was just my over active mind and ignored it.  But what if I was wrong and it was another tick?  So all day I went in search of figments of my imagination but gratefully, they all turned out to be just that, figments.

This is supposed to be our worst tick season EVER due to the warm winter. Yipee. Fortunately, Callie is on flea and tick meds so the only ones I have seen on her are dead ones.

So how to prevent them from being attracted to me?  Deet works but I am not wild about that chemical nor its side effects.

Right now for caution, I am taking head to toe showers after each trip to work in the yard. This can happen several times a day.  Don't think I have any natural oils left on my skin and hair from all the bathing but I sure smell nice.

Do you know of and use a natural, non-chemical tick deterrent that works? I will try most anything. Thanking you in advance.

Stay safe out there in the weeds.

42 comments :

  1. Sweet Patti I wish I had a suggestion for you but I sure hope someone does and it works. Ticks are nothing to mess with. I am with you about crawling things on me...I think things are crawling on me for sometime after I find one and got rid of it. Not pleasant at all. Hugs and nose kisses to all of you from all of us. Mags, Pooh and Chancy

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    1. Maggie,
      Don't the after effects once you see one last a long time? The mind is a powerful thing.

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    2. Yes, they do and it sure is.

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  2. The idea of fleas and ticks freaks me out too but I haven't seen any this year. My dog takes those meds too but my vet recently told me that the fleas are building up a tolerance to them, especially in the south. Not sure if I believe that, or she just wants me to buy them from their office and no over the counter.

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    1. Jean R,
      They will develop a resistance after a while. I keep changing drugs to keep that from happening. Kind of what happens with antibiotics. I just hope we don't run out of options and develop a super flea or tick that can only be killed with a hammer.

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  3. No, Patti, I don't have any tick-free lotions either. Fortunately for us, ticks are present but they don't carry Lyme disease, at least not yet. I think covering up and showering daily while checking every last spot is the best method of staying tick free. I sure wish they had a tick collar for us humans! :-)

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    1. Djan,
      Hey, I'd wear one:)) I do worry about you and all the woods you hike through. Keep safe.

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  4. Hi Patti. I'm not familiar with tick deterrents, but I do know that when I am outside working in the shrubs, trees etc, I am covered head to foot with clothing and eye protection. I look pretty silly, but it works for me. Kind of tough to do if the weather is real hot. My friend was bit by a large tick and managed to pull it out. It's a real problem in our area. Staying vigilant is probably one of the most important things. Your shower routine sound perfect.

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    1. Carole,
      I do that too but lately it is just getting too hot for a cover up. We just need to keep checking I guess.

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  5. DEET doesn't do much for me either. Bugs find me extremely tasty.

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    1. Stephen,
      I have a neighbor like you and I plan my outside work when he is also out for I know the flying ones will all be chomping on him. Love that guy.

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  6. I don't know of any other deterrents to ticks either. I do know that a friend's teenage daughter in Minnesota just started on a heavy dose of antibiotics for Anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease. This really is a terrible tick season. I haven't seen one yet, but I am ever vigilant. Lots of precaution and good luck to you. Stay tick-free there!

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    1. robin,
      They do carry really scary diseases. I had a friend get Tularemia from a tick and had to have the antibiotic IVs. She still has problems today. Doing my best and you and roger stay safe also.

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  7. I have no ideas beyond what you are doing. I'm assuming you are also using tick/flea preventative on your four-legged friends and checking them regularly for ticks.

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    1. Carolyn,
      Oh yes, my pets are all protected from fleas, ticks and heart worms. The only ticks I have found on Callie are dead ones. Wish they had such a med for us humans.

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  8. Dear Patti, I wish I did know of a tick repellent. I hope someone does as I'll return to your comments and read, hoping to find someone's suggestion. It's a problem here too.

    I surely understand about the imagination. i have an infestation of ants in my kitchen and living room and I find myself feeling them on my skin for real and for imagined all the time. Peace be to you.

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    1. Dee,
      Isn't the mind a powerful thing how it can suddenly make your skin crawl when nothing is there? We just need to learn how to train it to do good to our bodies:))

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  9. I've read that it takes ticks several hours to get up close and personal (Attach) so I think you are onb the right track taking a nice shower after coming out of tick territory.

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    1. joeh,
      I do believe it is effective. However I just got my water bill and couldn't believe how it had jumped up. Guess it beats doctor bills.

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  10. I see warnings about the ticks and Lyme disease often on the local news. It's a bad year for them here as well. Burt's Bees and Honest make natural, herb based repellents. I wear long pants and sleeves when working outside, but it has been relatively cool so far this summer.

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    1. Olga,
      Thanks so much for the tip. I will check those two out right now. I have used Burt's products before and liked them.

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  11. Haven't seen many ticks yet, but I've heard they are thick this year. I wish they'd come up with something to deter them that didn't involve chemicals. I'll have to check out Burt's Bees products. Happy 4th to you!

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    1. Cheryl,
      I did check Burt's Bees and see that Walmart carries it or will ship it to the store. Will definitely try. You have a great 4th also.

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  12. As far as I know, we don't have yicks here in Puget sound country, of at least now here in the suburbs. I have never seen one and don't work about them. I am a magnet for mosquitoes, however, and we have plenty of those. I've often thought there should be people flea and tick collars.

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    1. Linda R,
      I know if they had them, I would wear one. Hey, with a little bling they could be stylish:))

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  13. The ticks seem to love my grandson and he lives in a big woods besides. He gets them in the genital area and his daddy has to pick them off. It is not a fun time when this happens my daughter tells me. I called her once while this was happening and the wailing could be heard over the phone. Poor kid.

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    1. Snickelfritz,
      Aww, that poor child. I know that ticks do like to attach to private areas and that must really hurt a guy.

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  14. Ewwww...I am itchy just thinking about it. I have no rememdy, simply sympathy to offer.

    Eileen

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    1. Eileen,
      Oh no, I was hoping I wouldn't pass on the itches to my readers. Hope they leave you soon.

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  15. I must admit I'm much more afraid of deer ticks and Lyme disease than my several encounters with grizzly bears flyfishing in Montana. Also I highly favor your "death by toilet flushing" approach though it probably wouldn't work on ursus horribilus....:)

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    1. TB,
      Ha ha. I don't know but I think ursus horribilus might top my fear of ticks:))

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  16. Here in Texas, they've discovered one reason we have so few ticks. The good news is it's organic and non-chemical. The bad news is that it's fire ants. Apparently our fire ants think ticks are darned tasty, and over the years, they've pretty much decimated our tick population.

    I certainly wouldn't suggest importing fire ants to get rid of ticks, but it is a suggestion that perhaps, some day, they'll find a biological agent that can deal with those horrid things.

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    1. shoreacres,
      You may be right. We were ate up by fire ants in Fl and I don't remember ticks being such a problem. By the way, they are in Arkansas now, just not overrun---yet.

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  17. Oh, wow! Reminds me of blackberry picking near Lake Catherine many long years ago. In fact, in the past I wrote a blog post about it. Came home with a bucket of delicious wild berries, but the strange feeling on my legs during that time which I had ignored, turned out to be literally hundreds of tiny little seed ticks. By the time I dropped my jeans at home and discovered them, they had made their way up to neverland. Know what you mean about feeling them long after having disposed of them. Had the same feeling when I was awakened one night in Hot Springs having been stung by a scorpion on my butt cheek. Must have crawled into my P.J. legs when I had briefly stepped outside just before going to bed that night. All this very unnerving -- creepy feeling!

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    1. joared,
      Yikes, I think that many of the beasties would have done me in. They do prefer neverland don't they? :)) The mind sure is powerful.

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  18. Do you know, I don't know if we get ticks in the UK. If we do I'm glad I haven't met one yet, and hope I never do. Well done for getting that one off your skin in time and down the loo.

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    1. Joey,
      Well you got me curious so I Googled ticks in the UK. You have them and they are getting worse but still not as bad as hear. Got the giggles though over the fact that you have hedgehog ticks.

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  19. Hi Patti - I have a multi-layered approach. For around the yard or when I'm doing my volunteer field work, my Muck boots and jeans are sprayed with Permethrins, and I also use a Picaridin lotion by Sawyer rather than DEET. This also works well for mosquitos and other bugs. Before I go hiking/backpacking, I spray all of my clothes with Permethrins and let them dry the line. This is good for numerous washings before I have to re-treat the clothes.
    On a recent trip (which I hope to blog about soon), I used 100% DEET on my hat only in a spot where the black flies were particularly thick.

    I was in the field monitoring and checking American kestrel boxes (three successful nests this year!!!) recently literally up to my waste in high grass, poison ivy, and weeds. Observed dozens of ticks. They were running up the outside of our pants. I keep my jeans tucked into my Much Boots. Between my layers and an intensely obsessive tick checks when I get home, only one got through and had tried to latch on.

    It's a constant, year-round battle. Lone Star ticks have found their way to Cape Cod.
    But I refuse to let it keep me from what I love to do.

    Peace

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    1. Barry,
      Well you have certainly pulled out all the weapons and should be safe--well almost--from them. Ooh, I remember those black flies from a summer in Maine. They are viscous. I hadn't heard of Picaridin before and will check it out. Thanks for all the help.

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  20. oh ,sounds scary .we have small garden in our front yard ,greenery attracts the insects a lot which often bit and cause inflammation

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  21. No cure here, but I am so very sorry. You can catch some ugly diseases from ticks.

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  22. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about ticks in Hawaii. I think. I did have a tick episode in Hawaii though when we went camping. I might have to write a blog post about it someday.

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