A Ticklish Question
This is a gross but I’m a crude country woman and I’m not afraid of addressing a tick-lish topic.
Every person living in rural areas has their own process of dealing with ticks and I’ve noticed the methods often differ wildly from those recommended by internet sites. For starters, the sites always urge avoiding “walking in grassy, brushy, or heavily wooded areas.”
Of course, that eliminates most of the outdoors and makes living here pointless so I skip that step.
Next, we are urged to wear light colored clothing so we can spy the little critters crawling on us. Seen Humboldt mud lately? We’d stain light clothing faster than a baby spits out spinach and we still couldn’t see anything against the mud splatters..sooo dark jeans it is for most of us. The tight weave and tighter fit makes tick bites less frequent.
Wear bug repellant? Hmm, maybe I’m suspicious but that stuff looks and smells deadly. I’m betting that it causes cancer. And I can’t wear it every time I go outside anyhow.
Actually, I’ve been bitten only a few times in my life so I tend to skip advice on avoiding the creatures and concentrate on removing them because, while I’ve only been chomped a few times, even with monthly doses of repellent, my dog frequently displays the chic doggy look of tick body studs—living gray jewelry. (I’m surprised some Gothic girls haven’t gone for the look.)
Now, the true question. How do you remove ticks? The sites say don’t burn their butts or try and smother the tick because anything that “upsets or harms the tick without removing it can theoretically cause the tick to regurgitate its stomach contents back into the host, increasing the likelihood of disease transmission.”
Pause… I’m all for not having a tick regurgitate its stomach into me or anybody I love…really totally and completely not into it– so I just try to remove them fast. I’m of the school that grasps tightly with fingers as close to the skin as possible and twirls counter clockwise but I’ve noticed internet sites tend to recommend using tweezers and pulling straight out.
When I do that I tend to leave the head behind. Oddly, I find it repellent to walk around sporting tick head decorations –thus not so much with the pulling straight out and more with the twirling.
How do you get rid of the varmits?
One thing I don’t have to ask country people is how you get rid of the ticks you’ve detached. If you’re like everyone else with a wood stove, you fry the little buggers and only the sound of tiny screams would make the experience more satisfying.