A Ticky Situation

So we’re barely a month into spring and I’m already wishing for fall/winter.

I’ve never been an outdoorsy type of girl. I have nothing against nature per se, but a few things conspire to make me much happier reading a book indoors than soaking up the sun outside.

First, I am the palest creature you’ve EVER seen. Seriously, I practically glow.. and I’ve always been like that.  So I’m not exactly sun worshiper material.

Secondly, I have super dark almost black hair that attracts heat like moth to a flame. When the sun shines directly on my head I swear you could fry an egg on there and I feel like positively wilting from the heat exhaustion.

And third, I get poison Ivy if it enters a 50 mile radius of my vicinity. Case in point, I have it right now from the one or two times I’ve wandered around the yard with Jasper, or maybe from touching the dog or maybe because someone who had it looked at me from a few hundred yards away.. either way, I have it and it’s miserable!

But the absolute WORST thing about spring/summer in the CT/NY area is the severity of the tick (or more specifically Lyme’s disease) problem.   Lyme is bad enough in an adult because it’s hard to detect and hard to treat, but in a baby/toddler who can’t tell you exactly what they are feeling it’s that much harder.

So needless to say Jeff and I were pretty horrified to find a tic burrowed in between Jasper’s shoulder blades two nights ago.. horrified and rather at a loss as to what to do to get it out!

A google search turned up that we should pull it straight out, no wiggling so as not to separate the head from the body.. but that only encouraged the tick to burrow in further.

Obviously we didn’t want to go to the E.R. (I can only imagine where removing a tick falls on the triage hierarchy!) but I remembered there was a “PM Pediatrics” place nearby, a sort of emergent care for kids.   When I called them I still wasn’t sure if we were overreacting, but they assured me that it’s something they do/see all the time.

I’m SO glad we went.. they applied a numbing cream in case they had to dig into his back to get it out (which they did, poor little guy!) But honestly the WORST part was us having to hold him down on his belly while the Physician’s assistant removed the tick.. the screaming was at a level I haven’t heard from him in a long time.. if ever.

We were really lucky because the tick wasn’t engorged with blood and it was on him for less than the required 12 hours to transfer Lymes, but most of all because the tick was big enough that we even SAW it on him. Deer ticks can be so tiny they often go undetected completely.

So as Jasper stands at the door every day and whines to go outside, I have to try really hard to enjoy out time outdoors without seeing a leaves of three or tiny black critters behind every blade of grass.  Ugh, how many weeks until winter?

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ariana says:

Ava, don’t be too impressed – we weren’t doing a tick check, we were just changing him for bed! The tick was pretty big and there was a red ring around it on his skin – impossible to miss. We got lucky the tick was so huge because it was easy to spot!

Ava says:

Yuck, yuck, yuck! I am SUPER impressed you guys do tick checks. Honestly, it’s not something I event thought to do. How scary you found one though — I really hope Jasper doesn’t get any yickies from it.

I guess this is where I should be happy that our tiny, wind-tunnel of a backyard is an unlikely destination for our toddler.

Ashley says:

I hate ticks! We went to the park last week and when we came home I was taking my daughters dress off and a tick was on her side! Thank god I decided to take her dress off to put her in something more comfortable or it could have been to late.

Aimee says:

The absolute best way to treat a dog for ticks is to use a Preventic Collar made by Virbac. It paralizes the ticks jaw so they can not bit the dog. Frontline or Advantics (one a month topical) works fine for city dogs but for for dogs who lives in high tick area’s they don’t work and you need the collar. Never put Hartz, Biospot, or Sargents or any other brand you can buy at the grocery store. They are toxic to mammals and can kill your animal. I manage a Veterinary hospital and have been in the field for 16+ years and have seen many animals get sick and or die from use of those products.

Haven’t found any ticks on my kids yet but I do think it is because I use a collar on the dog and frontline on the cats. I’ve had 3 in my life and they freak me out when on me, but I can easily pull them off of any animal or person.

Good luck surviving the summer!

Litsecita says:

Ticks are nasty fellows…
I also had a tick last summer and went to the doc to have it removed and because I was worried since in Europe where I live, there’s a huge percentage of ticks that can give you FSME (early summer-meningoencephalitis), which is really dangerous. Luckily, I didn’t get it but the disease can take 3-4 weeks to start, so I got the tick back home with me in an envelope so it could be checked in case I got sick…
If you’re keeping a tick in an envelope, make sure it’s tightly sealed, as the doc told me, they can survive for weeks without food and I was quite worried that it would find some way out….well, luckily it didn’t, I didn’t get sick and in the end, I flushed the envelope in the toilet…
here, they sell anti-tick spray that’ll keep ticks away for 6 hours. maybe you can get it where u live? There are also sprays made on a natural basis that can be used for kids.

Juliana says:

I was about to tell you to use a hot tweezer, but nevermind…

I am so lucky!!! I am also not an outside person and the good part is that I live in an apartment, so my son still doesn’t ask me to go outside (what can be done the hole year hear in Brazil!). And when I am at my mom’s house my parents stay with him at the garden.

Well, hope you feel better soon!!

ariana says:

Wendy, yes we treat the dog, definitely a must!

Michelle, love your ideas!

JB, you made me LOL – maybe I should move to the NW where going outside is much less frequent due to rain..

So my cousin emailed me a link to the CDC page on removing ticks, and it says NOT to use hot tweezers (which is what I’ve always heard too:

Just so you all know if your little one gets a tick!
But I also read online that you are supposed to pull them straight out, but the Dr. said you often do have to sort of rock back and forth to get their little claws out.. I’ve also heard you should save the tick and send it out for Lyme testing which I would definitely do if it were in contact with him for a while.

Lastly, how could I have forgotten Allergies in my list of reasons to hate the outdoors? I have had the WORST allergies this spring.. I feel like I have a constant flu. Totally debilitating :(

Ok, I’ll stop my little rant now which is of course only half serious.

Also, we do plan on treating the yard in the next few days which I HOPE will cut down on the chances of reoccurrence.. now the pesticides used is a whole other can of worms. Lesser of two evils I suppose!

jbhat says:

OMG. You poor things! I can’t believe Jasper had a tick. Thank goodness you caught it.

Outside is overrated. Hot, sweaty, buggy…those swarms of tiny gnats that hover in a circle every few paces…yuck.


Fiona says:

Awww…poor you. Ticks are ugly little creatures. They scare me.

Joelle says:

I remember getting a tick when I was younger after a camping trip. My mom would either hold a match to the tick to get it to “walk” out of my, or put Vaseline on it to make it back out for air.
Good luck with the rest of the summer!

Michelle says:

I enjoy being outside, but I am more of a “controlled nature” I don’t camp out or really go hiking. And, my son loves being outside too. Last weekend when we had the bad rains here in TN he sat by the back door crying “shoes..” (we have him get his shoes before we go outside.) Maybe try bringing some of the outdoor stuff he likes to do inside…. maybe set him outside the tub and put boats in the water or go in the bathroom to blow bubbles. Or plant seeds in the kitchen sink. It may be a little messy, but you won’t have to be outside as much and maybe won’t have to listen to the whining.

Wendy says:

Have you treated your dogs for fleas and ticks? We live in a suburban neighborhood that’s surrounded by woods and get ticks this time of year. We treat the dog and cat (the liquid that goes on their shoulder blades once a month works the best) and treat the lawn and then never see another tick again. Also, a trick for removing ticks, put a lit match up to the ends of a pair of tweezers and use the hot tweezers to remove the tick.