It has been a while since I've posted. Earthquakes and hurricanes have come and gone, and these I've taken in stride. Now, however, I have been cursed by the spawn of the Devil himself. I have been tick bombed! Not only have I had to suffer with this horrendous plague, but my poor dogs have been struck. For the past several days, we have been living in tick hell.
For those of you who have the incredible luck (or foresight) not to live in an area where ticks reside, count your blessings! These nasty little critters were put on earth for no reason but to annoy and gross out humanity (and other animals.) I have questioned real, live naturalists about ticks, and they, too, are stumped as to their purpose in nature. I think ticks are God's way of saying F you! to humanity. And, I must've done something to piss off the Big Guy (Gal) this week!
My dogs didn't just bring home ticks after their walk. They do that on a regular basis, and I always keep a tweezers handy to pick the little blood suckers off them, myself, and family members on a daily basis. Yuck! Oh no. They apparently walked through a tick nest and were tick bombed by seed ticks! Seed ticks, you say? What the heck are seed ticks? Hope you never have to find out, my lovelies, because they are the seed of the Demon himself!
|seed ticks on finger|
Seed ticks are not a particular species of tick but are the larval or nymph stage of a tick. They sit in hundreds, nay thousands, in tall grass waiting for a tasty looking dog or person to walk by. Then they instantaneously attach themselves to the unsuspecting victim and hang on for dear life. They look like tiny poppy seeds (hence the name) or specks of dirt, but when you look closely or remove one, it crawls. The legs are so tiny you can barely see them. Imagine hundreds of poppy seeds suddenly crawling over your ankles. Yeah, it's a nightmare. They can leave itchy bite marks at the attachment site, and may or may not spread tick-borne illness (I've read differing opinions on this).
|seed ticks on pants|
So, this week, I spent the better part of a day picking tiny, blood filled baby parasites off my dogs' bellies, paws, and legs. Of course, by the time I discovered the seed ticks all over my dogs, the dogs had already jumped all over my bed, so I also found little, crawling buglets all over my bed and carpet! Can you say freaked out? I've never done so much laundry in my life! Stripped the bed, washed the bathroom carpets, all the blankets the dogs lay on, and all the clothes they came in contact with. Then I vacuumed everywhere. Twice. Not to mention giving the pooches their dose of Frontline, which is essentially a systemic insecticide (don't even tell me that it's toxic-so is Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever!) My poor Maltese had red welts all over his body, and I still have about 2 dozen itchy red bites all over my calves, ankles, and feet! Not fun.
I think (hope, pray) the tick bomb is getting under control now. I haven't found any new ones on the dogs since yesterday and haven't seen any on my bed or carpet for 2 days now. I'm still vacuuming like a fiend, which is one of my least favorite activities of all time (right after picking seed ticks off dog bellies). If I don't post again for a while, keep me in your thoughts. I may be battling locusts or cattle disease or some other plague sent from above. Or from below, like those damn ticks!