Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Totally Ticked

I am not an arachnophobe. Really, I'm not. For the most part I am happy to share my little section of this earth with whatever spiders might be in residence. I admit that it did take me awhile before I was able to make peace with the family of black widow spiders that lives under the siding at the front of our house. We still aren't on overly friendly terms, and they are absolutely forbidden entry to my house. However, a truce of sorts does exist.

There is one exception to my peaceful co-existence with the local arachnids. I hate ticks. Hate would actually be too mild of a term. I despise ticks. I loathe ticks. Which is unfortunate, because almost all of my life has been spent living in places that are inhabited by ticks. Even more unfortunate is the fact that of all the places I have lived ticks seem to like Kamloops the most.

My fear of ticks goes back to my early childhood. One of my first memories of going to the local doctor was to have a tick dug out of my head. In this post from last fall I talked about the fact that I had an almost perfect childhood. The tick incident would have been one of the big contributors to that adverb "almost."

Ticks seem to like certain people more than others. They love my daughters but totally avoid my sons. Which is why when my kids were younger the girls would send David into the bushes to retrieve any stray basketballs, hockey pucks, etc. All they had to do was walk across our lawn and a tick could find them. David would crawl through the underbrush and come out tick free every time.

They also seem to like one of my daughters-in-law. Two summers ago Diana accompanied Karsten on a fishing trip to a small lake in Saskatchewan. Unfortunately Diana's "catch" wasn't quite what she had been expecting. When they got home Diana discovered a tick attached to her knee, and, in what I consider to be a completely rational response, she freaked out. To the point that Karsten had to sit on her and hold her down while he removed the disgusting thing. Which made me thankful that all those years ago the doctor that removed the tick from my head had not been afraid of the thing. It also leaves me wondering what Diana, now a practicing family doctor,  is going to do when faced with a patient that needs a tick removed.

So here it is, the middle of April. It is the time of the year that the ticks come out and cling to the brush in the surrounding countryside. That would be the same countryside that I hike through. It is no exaggeration when I say I would rather encounter a bear than a tick when I am out here on this trail. At least a bear runs the other way when it sees you.


  1. We aren't as tick-laden out here, but we do have them and we check ourselves regularly after hiking.

    And I can vouch for those Kamloops bears going the other way - I attended an orienteering camp there and when we were out one day a friend and a bear met at the top of a hill, both turned tail and took off the way they had come! On the island here you have to yell at the bears a bit to get them to move off.... especially if you're near the river or lake.

  2. I agree with you completely. I loathe leeches just as much. I can tolerate absolutely anything else.

  3. Darn! I was hoping the ticks would be scarce this season, now that I am heading to the trails on a weekly basis! I've never had a tick yet, but have removed one from one of my children, and have had one drop off my head (after I scratched)Freaky!!

    I guess I was in denial, but now that you brought it up, I may as well face the facts. Time to wear a cap and be vigilant!

  4. @kate - Lucky you to not have to worry about ticks too much. I am not sure I would be too enthused about bears I had to yell at a bit before they headed the other direction.

    @amelia - Leeches sound dreadful. You might find this hard to believe but I have never actually encountered a leech. I hope it stays that way!

    @Aneta - Sorry to burst your bubble! It is definitely time to watch out for them. Removing one from someone else is in some ways worse than having one yourself. Ugh...

  5. Ugh...I absolutely loathe ticks too and can't bear the thought of them....kind of like leeches really...I did go on a camp once where it was raining so much that it rained leeches.....I have never been so glad to get home...normally I quite like camping but I think that put the lid on camping for a few years!!! I also detest March flies...I don't know if you have them there but they seem to smell me out wherever they are...usually Stradbroke Island which is paradise on earth...except for the March flies...they sting like crazy and leave big welts and will NOT go away...I dance a lot waving my arms around on the beach if I think they are nearby and get really really cross :)

  6. Iceland is tick free - for now - but there are some fears that they might be on the way as so many other insects as the climate is getting warmer and "import" of goods, animals and people is ever increasing.

  7. Guess what I flicked off myself in the house this morning?!
    Don't know where it came from cuz I haven't been out exercising since Tuesday morning!! Yikes!!

  8. @Luvvie - It rained leeches??? I have never heard of March flies. They sound awful.

    @Harpa - Hopefully they never end up on your shores!

    @Aneta - Eeewwww...

  9. You're so right, ticks are horrible. The only time I was allowed to use matches in my youth was to burn ticks--apparently my folks really disliked them.

    Last year we took in a stray dog and the poor thing was covered in was very gross.

  10. Hi Kristie--wanted to pop by and say thank you for the comment on my blog post showing my completed Tetsubou! My brother and I have a rocky relationship, but I will admit that he has been very supportive of my crafty endeavors...for that I am grateful!

    I was just talking to a friend the other day about ticks...she has pretty much the same opinion as you. Me on the other hand...I grew up and worked in the Appalachians where after a day in the woods I would have to thoroughly check my body...sometimes pulling off 15-20 ticks per day. I am definitely not someone ticks avoid and so had to get used to them in a hurry growing up!