Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tick-proof and ready for adventure

Ticks are disgusting.

Nothing ruins an outdoor adventure family fun day like the discovery of these disgusting little parasites on one or more family member.

Here in the midwest we mostly worry about catching Lyme Disease from these guys; out west it's Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. But did you know ticks also transmit tularemia, tick-borne relapsing fever and, for those of you south of the Mason Dixon, something called Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness?

The Centers for Disease Control offers a helpful page on ticks and tick-related diseases. It includes this handy chart on relative sizes and stages of development of common American ticks:

You might want to consult this chart, or the CDC pages I've provided, next time you decide to take a restorative stroll through the fields and meadows near your home. I'm just saying.

The eldest and I are setting out today on a quick run up to Wilton, Wisconsin, to meet some people from our church. We're going to camp overnight, cook a big pot of campfire chili, and then spend tomorrow canoeing down the Kickapoo river. Even though I have the cautionary words and advice of Grant Miller echoing in my head, I'm still looking forward to being out of touch with the rest of the world for a day or so.

Before any outdoor adventure I always treat our clothes with my favorite outdoor product, permethrin. Since finding out about this stuff, I have not found a single live tick on anyone in our family. It keeps off mosquitoes as well. And we no longer have to slather ourselves in DEET, which makes kissing MizBubs while in the middle of nowhere a lot tastier.

Starting Monday I get to cross another career goal off my list. I will be in school all week, being trained as a firearms instructor. This is the third or fourth time I've requested the training, and for some reason this time I didn't get blocked because of politics. This is shaping up as a perfect week: camping, canoeing, and non-stop shooting with a break on Wednesday for a trip to a tiki bar.

Good times.


SkylersDad said...

Actually, we make a game of checking each other for ticks. My wife thinks I spend too much time on her privates, but thats part of the fun, right?

Writeprocrastinator said...

Doesn't that tick kind of look like Cheney?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

My dad used to collect ticks off himself and the dog and keep them in a big glass jar, making me feel like I was visiting a Rob Zombie movie or something.

Dale said...

Thank you for creating this tick sheet for me to refer to and tick off.

Johnny Yen said...

Thanks for the tick tips, and I'm glad you get to check another goal off!

It's amazing how professions get clouded by politics. Teaching was rife with it.

GETkristiLOVE said...

My little nephew caught Lyme disease - they live out in the country and so hard to avoid the ticks.

Anonymous said...

When she was a kid, my sister-in-law got freaked out about a bunch of ticks on the family dog. She pestered her dad and wouldn't quit until her dad drove the dog to the vet. The vet looked at the dog, then said to my father-in-law, "Mr. S____, those aren't ticks, they're his nipples."

Erik Donald France said...

Yes, ticks are disgusting.

I think of how many that used to come off my poor old Labradors back in Tar Heel Land. And some off the peeps, too.

Met people in England who were utterly frightened of the idea, That and tornadoes, hurricanes and rabies . . . We colonials are a rugged bunch ;->

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Dude, you truly are living the dream.

Bubs said...

Dr MVM, truly.

Erik, I know what you mean. I went hiking in the Wicklows in Ireland a few years ago, and the people I was with were appalled when I talked about venomous snakes, scorpions, mosquitoes and black bears. I don't think they want to go hiking here.

Kirby, Hah! I love it.

GKL, how is he doing now? That's too bad. One of MizBubs' cousins got West Nile but no one's gotten Lyme disease, knock on wood.

Johnny, it's a shame isn't it? And talk about two professions that you 'd like to see free of poltiical influences, and yet they're both riddled with it.

Dale, check.

Barbara, why? Good lord, why?

W.P. you're right. Digging into that skin faster than you can say "undisclosed secure location".

Skylersdad, better safe than sorry.

Jewgirl said...

Louie once had a tick, they are nasty little fuckers, to be sure.

I'm so glad you are off for some R&R. How was it? I know it was tick-free.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Oh, he's fine -they knew what it was right away and treated him. I don't think it's chronic for him as it's been a few years ago now with no reoccurance of symptoms.