Tuesday, April 18, 2006

tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...

"Tick is the common name for the small wingless arachnids that, along with mites, constitute the order Acarina. Ticks are external parasites, living by hematophagy on the blood of mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are an important vector of a number of human and animal diseases. "

yes, thank you 'free dictionary' for that lovely description of the current bane of our existence. don't get me wrong, ticks are a regular part of our lives for about 9 months of each year, but for some reason this year they seem particularly ferocious. maybe it's an old wives' tale, but i've heard it said that the little buggers are rampant in years in which there was no hard winter freeze. that, folks, would be THIS YEAR.

we first notice the bloodthirsty vermin in late february or early march, usually on one of the animals. this means it's time to put frontline between their shoulderblades once a month to keep them from becoming warm-blooded tick vessels carrying ticks from the OUTSIDE to the INSIDE of our house. also, we start spraying the kids' limbs with 'off' when they go out to play. usually these precautions pretty much stifle the tick problem, but NOT this year.

i've never gone to such drastic measures as granular insecticide on the lawn, but this is all out war. frontline on the cats & dogs is supposed to last a month. NOT this year. after 2 weeks i started seeing ticks again on the animals. the 'off' isn't even beginning to keep the ticks 'off' the kids. we've all pulled at least one off of our bodies... poor boy had one stuck to his scrotum. each day my daughter wakes up and says, "is today bug day again?" sadly, yes, every day is bug day.

i generally don't like a ton of pesticide and herbicide floating around where the kids play, but tell me: which is worse? poison or rocky mountain spotted fever? poison or lyme disease? i don't know the answer, but i'll give the sevin crystals a try. on the bag it says it MIGHT even last for 30 WHOLE DAYS before the tick life cycle begins again.

at night, i'm waking up, feeling imaginary (or sometimes real) ticks crawling up my legs, in my ears, on my scalp. i run to the bathroom at 3 AM, blind myself with the lights, and scour myself from head to toe, paranoid that one is just beyond my vision. if a psychiatrist saw me, they'd probably take me away right then claiming paranoia. i don't know why i'm so wound up about this!

so, we're getting the blood sucked out of us by vampirical ticks. what about YOU??


Lotus Reads said...

You poor things; hope the sevin crystals help. I'm getting an itchy scalp just reading this!

Mr. L said...

No ticks here...we fight off lawn grubs, black ants and spiders every year. We've got one type of spider that isn't afraid of humans and actually fights back.