5.29.2009

Waiting For Dinner

On a lone blade of grass, in the middle of the trail, the ticks line up to wait for take-out. You don't want to be on the menu but you can't let the little suckers scare you out of the woods -- there's too much to see out there. Just be diligent about checking yourself for the bothersome little beasts.

I carry a small vial when I'm out and about. The one I use at work is filled with 90% ethyl alcohol and any ticks that are crawling on my clothes or on me get to go swimming in it. Any that I find attached go into a separate vial, also filled with alcohol. Periodically I package up the vials and their attendant paperwork and mail them off to the folks at Environmental Health as part of a continuing tick study.

While in the home swamp I carry a little container of soapy water for the crawlers and any that sneak past me and attach get taped to the calendar as soon as I find them and pull them out. A simple reminder to check for any signs of tick-borne illness.

Is it a pain? Absolutely. Am I gonna let them keep me trapped inside? Absolutely not.
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7 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I won't let the ticks drive me indoors either. The idea of taping the attached ones to the date on a calendar is a terrific one.

We keep a strip of wide duct tape or packing tape near the door to put crawlies on.

It looks to be a banner year for them here in Minnesota.

swamp4me said...

Lynne,
Sounds like the ticks are bad everywhere this year. I carry duct tape with me in the late summer and early fall when the larval ticks are out. Makes quick work of picking them off and securing them!

Woodswalker said...

Hmmm... Tape... Never thought of that. I wonder, could you wrap your ankles with double-sided tape, like wrapping the trunk of a tree to catch caterpillars...
The ticks are terrible, even up here in upstate NY. Every time I go out I pull some off me. But I won't let that keep me home, even though I've had Lyme disease twice. How come I don't get immune?

Woodduck said...

Maybe by local population of Brown Thrashers are eating some.
We also have a bunch of catbirds. Would they eat the ticks?
We're getting a large population of Eurasian Collared Doves that might not be tick eaters, but we're enjoying them; out on the banks...happy trails

swamp4me said...

Woodswalker,
Tape is a wonderful tool -- I don't think double-sided would work, but duct tape will get 'em! Luckily for us, Lyme disease is not as prevalent in our area as it is up north. We have our share of other tick associated illnesses though.

Woodduck,
I've always heard that guinea hens will eat ticks, but I don't know if it's true. No collared doves in our area of the state yet.

Ellen Rathbone said...

We turned ticks into a contest when I was working in NJ - the group that came back with the most won. This was a good way to turn something scarey into a fun "game" - the only down side was that the kids would then go charging into the tall grasses to try and get more ticks!

swamp4me said...

Ellen,
Whenever I have a group I carry a jar with soapy water in it. The kids get to drop the crawlers in and then we count 'em at the end of the day. Helps the squimy ones get over the icky tick factor ;)