Friday, April 20, 2012

When Acorns Spell Trouble

(Fair warning--this post is graphic.  Feel free to turn away now.)

There are some "creatures" in our backyard that are causing quite a problem.  Ticks.  Vile, vile arachnids.

Creepy, horrible, teeny-tiny, armor-plated, deep-burrowing, Lyme-disease carrying nightmares.

Apparently 2 years ago there was a bumper crop of acorns.  This resulted in a proliferation of white-footed mice--the ticks preferred host.  And thus the tick conundrum of 2012.

On a sunny day this March we were sitting in the yard for less than an hour and a friend had one crawling on her pants and Beza had one running in circles on her shoulder under her shirt.

Three weeks ago we removed one from M's leg.

Two weeks ago, after playing outside, I took off my sweatshirt to start making dinner.  A few minutes later I felt one crawling on my arm.  We crushed its armor-coated shell and washed it down the drain.  Fifteen minutes later I sat down to feed Beza and felt another one on my arm.

Now I stare at the grass in fear. 

Instead of just letting them play outside I have to calculate if we'll have time to do a thorough tick-check when they come inside.  Oh, and then there's also the fear that those little buggers will jump off their clothes and hang out on the carpeting or couch for some unsuspecting victim to walk by--in. the. house.

Forget even getting close to the woods.

Last year this creep was burrowed into T's head.


A few weeks later it happened again.


And who can forget last Mother's Day?  The next day I was at our Mom's Bible Study/Book Club and I ran my hands through my hair.  I felt a curl.  I don't have curls.  Ahhh!  I may have thrown an adult-tantrum--stomping my feet and pumping my fists at the violation.  Seriously, a tick in my hair meant that it had somehow survived through my bedtime shower and had been there all. night. long.  Eating my head.  Gross.

And the worse part is that you can't just brush them off.  You have to pull them out with tweezers.  Pulling hard.  And you have to try to get their whole head out.  Ugh... 

My friends got it out.  While I tested negative for Lyme's, three weeks later I (and no one else) had flu symptoms and took antibiotics.

We can spray our lawn and that might take care of the ticks currently there.  Oh, plus also, you know, put lovely chemicals in the grass that we want to play in.  Or we could spray our clothes--with poison. Poison or ticks?  Ticks or poison?  Argh!  

I'm beginning to think we are destined for a summer on the pavement. 

3 comments:

  1. you could do a summer at the beach with me - I have heard that your little friends do not like water:)

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  2. ewwwww. while i don't have anything great to say, i will say that lyme disease is TERRIBLE. my bible study leader's entire family has been ravished by it and it is an awful, awful disease. :( so stay away from the ticks b/c you really don't want lyme disease!
    ~elizabeth

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  3. You could get some guinea hens or chickens- they love to eat ticks. So sorry- ticks are just nasty aren't they?

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