Ticks. OMG! Can there be anything ickier to address on the outside?
In my 60-plus years of wandering around maximum each corner and cranny of the wilds of north Simcoe County, I have never laid eyes on a tick… Till this 12 months. Now they appear to be ‘anywhere’! Yuck!
They were crawling on my blouse, embedded in my waist, pulled from my hair, flicked off my pants, and feature-induced a nearly consistent creepy-crawly feeling to my skin. I wouldn’t say I like ticks, not even a bit bit.
So, what’s going on out there? Why such a lot of and what to do about them? And are they certainly as risky to our health as some might have us believe? As with any risk, the first advice is to recognize your enemy, so here is going…
Of the forty species of ticks in Canada, we appear to be domestic to simply three which are bothersome to us: the wood tick (additionally referred to as brown or American dog tick), the black-legged tick (additionally called the deer tick), and lone-star tick (although this one may be very uncommon in our region, to this point).
All MAY deliver a hefty list of illnesses that COULD motivate us human beings’ grief IF the tick is inflamed and stays connected to us long enough to switch the disease. Lyme disorder is the one that stands proud as a real hazard to our private fitness.
Ticks have a particularly complex lifestyle cycle, a series of molts and increased levels involving a blood meal every step.
The eggs, which can be laid on the ground, hatch into a tiny six-legged larva that crawls around looking for a number to connect to and suck up a bit of blood; this may be a mouse, chicken, chipmunk, or human. This first-degree larva is about the scale of duration on a published page.
Having had a full belly of blood, they drop off onto the ground and molt (shed their outer skin) into an eight-legged larva that again seeks out a new host for any other blood meal, being a chicken, small mammal, or human.
Once connected and gleefully tanked up on blood, the engorged tick quickly drops to the ground and molts again, this time into a person, either male or female.
These adults now climb up a blade of grass or small shrub, move slowly out to the tippy pinnacle, and maintain their hooked forelegs to snag a passing canine, human, fox, coyote, deer, or moose. This method is known as questing.
Alongside comes me, out for a quiet walk with my camera to seize the beauty and serenity of nature.
Unnoticed, a dastardly questing tick hooks onto my pant leg and turns into a hitch-hiker. The apple seed-sized critter wastes no time trying to find a way to get internal to my soft pores and skin, speedy poking around my socks, waist, neck, or hair until it can enter my glorious blood.
Once in location (favorite locations are underarms, groin, knees, folds of pores and skin, and scalp), they start drilling into your pores and skin.
Unlike a deerfly chunk that hurts, you will no longer experience this, as a painkilling secretion numbs the pores and skin. A cement-like barrier is fashioned once its head is burrowed into the pores and skin, and the blood-sucking starts.
If undetected for some days (as can be the case with a canine), the female tick engorges with blood until the scale of a small grape. She then detaches and falls to the ground, prepared to lay eggs.
One lady can lay 5,000 eggs! Then she dies (hooray!). The men will mate earlier than that last stage of engorgement, but they do not require a large blood meal themselves, so a short snack can be all they want from you.
They’re using your body as a dating area, hoping to find a nice girl tick who can still be unattached. (Eww, yuck, skin crawl.)
It is during that blood withdrawal that the transfer of ailment takes region. The longer a tick is embedded, the greater the host’s risk of getting inoculated if the tick is a service of awful stuff.
To minimize tick success, we should do some things to interrupt that complicated life cycle. Removing yourself from the list of hosts is the primary component.
Start via now, not sporting shorts or quick-sleeved shirts, even as you stroll through tall grass areas. Tuck your pant legs in your socks. Douse garb and exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET. (If you decide upon natural treatments, prepare a twig containing lemon, orange, lavender, peppermint, and cinnamon.)
Conduct a tick-take a look while strolling, scanning your mild-colored blouse and pants for new arrivals. Adults may be visible without difficulty but require a bit of convincing to cross the material because of their tough, curved legs.