Chicky brought home a little someone the other day. She wasn't aware this little guy had followed her home which is good because he's a little goth and a real wannabe blood sucker and hhe's a little young to deal with that type. The little guy didn't have a name so I was going to name him Edward, but he's not sexy in the least. He's really, really creepy. So instead, I'll call him...
OMFG! It's a TICK. Eww. EWWWW. A TICK. We found a TICK on MY BAAY-BEEE. The world is GOING TO END. A TICK. GAAAAHHHH.
(Those of you from other parts of the country other than the northeast might not know about the dangers of deer ticks and Lyme disease - actually, it's all over the place now so maybe you do. Whatever. It's freaking scary so keep reading anyway. It's important.)
We pulled this little sucker out of Chicky's hair where it thankfully was just crawling around. It hadn't latched on yet.
Then, a couple of nights ago, I was petting the cat when I felt something on her ear. Yep, a tick. I screamed and yelled for my husband who came running in with a What?? What's wrong?
I just pulled a tick off of Nina's ear!
So what do you want me to do?
Uh, I don't know. I just freaked out. Kill it. Flush it. Hit it with a rock just GET IT OUT OF MY BED.
And let me tell you about the other ticks I've found since then....
Hey, wait! Come back! Where are you going?
Okay, I'm sorry. I won't talk about ticks anymore.
I'm totally lying. TIIIIIIICKSSS.
I can't even tell you how many common dog ticks I've pulled off of my dogs and other's dogs in the past. Hundreds. Hundreds and hundreds, and they've never freaked me out. But these are worse. These carry disease that make you horribly sick and then your arms and legs spontaneously fall off and then your head explodes the end.
Okay, not really but a deer tick bite left untreated could really mess you up. Oftentimes, people carrying the disease don't have the tell-tale bullseye bite mark and then the flu-like symptoms they complain about go undiagnosed.
The problem is, deer ticks are so small that by the time you notice them the damage might be done. So I've been obsessively checking the girls for teeny, tiny little specks of black that might be ticks but also just might be dirt. Every nook and cranny gets a thorough inspection. Nobody is pleased with me right now because the procedure can be a little... invasive. Ahem.
Now every time I feel a little tickle on my skin I'm all, It's a tick! OMG, it's a TICK!!
Every speck on the floor, A TICK. It's A TICK! We're all going to DIE!!
Coincidentally, May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month because this is when the little blood suckers become really active and therefore, really dangerous.
I won't get into the specifics of how Lyme disease works, you can read about it here if you want to know more (and you should).
Want to know how to remove a tick safely if you find one on you? Read about that here.
One piece of information I found particularly interesting, when going outside in tick infested areas (AKA, my freaking yard) apply 20 - 30% DEET even on children as young as three months old. I know some people have a problem putting DEET on their kids, but I think I'm willing to take that risk.
Especially since I stopped writing this post to put Chicky to bed and before putting on her pajamas I did my check. And there, in her fine blond hair, was a tick.
(Oh. Mah. GAWD. A FREAKING TICK. Am losing my mind.)
And it was imbedded. I have no idea how long it had been there since I didn't check her head last night but it wasn't full of blood and we got everything out. Still, I'm freaking out a little.
Okay, a lot. I'm freaking out a lot. And tomorrow I'm sizing the girls for their very own, personalized bubble. Covered in DEET.