Fear of the Walking Tick

A lot of people fear snakes, ghosts, carbs and sugar, but we have the fear of the walking tick. Thirteen years ago we started hiking. We would go early to Carmel NY, have a small BBQ or picnic and set off on our hike. We were aware of these tiny critters then and would make sure to bring our spray and check ourselves often. These days, the panic and precaution is much more severe.

What Are Ticks?

Ticks are part of the arachnids and suck on the blood of mammals, birds and even reptiles. They are the most dangerous when they are in larva stage. This is when they are as small as a poppy seed and can be hard to spot. Within a day or two, they would have sucked on your blood and increased in size that you can see them. By then, it could be too late. Some of the diseases you can get from ticks include:

  • Babesiosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Colorado tick fever

It’s good to note that not all ticks carry a disease but it’s essential that you act like they do. Check yourself often during the trails and use bug spray that can help prevent them from sticking to you. Another thing to consider is wearing lighter colored clothes. I have a bad habit of always wearing black on black so don’t do as I do, do as I say. =D

Tick Prevention

When it comes to ticks, we have a new routine. Besides checking ourselves often, when we come home, we remove our clothes in the garage. We bag the clothes so that those little blood suckers can’t get out and spray them with the DEET bug repellent. Afterwords, toss them in the dryer for a few minutes on high. The heat is not what kills them, it’s the dryness. They thrive in moisture so 10 minutes in the dryer on high heat is sure to kill them. Another thing we recommend is getting a tick removing tool. It’s easy to use and are better than tweezers. I should know since I yanked a tick out with them and broke it off. We were eventually able to get the bits and pieces out but it took time and some struggling.

While we have a serious fear of ticks, we still go hiking and biking. We’ve found them on our clothes, in hair and on our bodies before. The key is to check yourself often and remove them as soon as possible. Remember, even celebrities such as Yolanda Hadid and Avril Lavigne can get bit and get Lyme disease.

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