Feel it? You do don’t you? That tingling crawling up your bare leg, on the inside of your pants, towards parts of your body you’d rather not mention. You’ve got a creepy feeling, and now that feeling has spread to the back of your neck where you’re sure something is there poking up toward your hair-line. Go ahead, slap it. Scratch it. I’ll wait.
Ok, now it’s moved to your arm where you feel like the hairs are standing on end. There’s something there you’re sure, and it ain’t a mosquito. What is it? Where is it? You crank your elbow around and retch your neck toward your back to reach it.
But something! It has to be something! There it is moving up your leg again.
Oh, oh dear. You’re stripping off your pants? No worries. I understand. I’ll look away while you inspect your pale white stems, leaning over to rub them down, scratching, calling to your husband, your momma, your sister, your preacher to come and look! Come and check! I think I have a tick!
You found it didn’t you.
Invasive little bastards (sorry preacher).
They’re here. It’s official.
Yup. It’s tick season and I’ve rung it in in typical ranch style fashion, celebrating by discovering my first little friend while on a shopping spree to Victoria Secret. I had showered, combed my hair, put on some makeup and made the long trip to the big town for undies. I was feeling good. I was feeling a little less like a grubby ranch girl and nearly presentable, dare I say damn sexy while I thumbed through the racks of impractical underwear. I was wincing at the thought of a permanent lace wedgie when I reached up to scratch my head only to discover one of the many reasons I will never be a Victoria Secret model.
Because I can’t imagine Heidi Klum has ever discovered a wood tick stuck in her hairline while frolicking amongst the ridiculous push-up bras and butt-crack revealing undergarments and smelly lotions and powders and weird music only to wonder just how long the damn thing had been there.
Nope. Victoria Secret models shave their legs…
Victoria Secret models have other people comb their hair for them…
Victoria Secret models live in places with white sand and big sunglasses and gentle winds that blow their hair in just the right direction.
Victoria Secret models don’t have to check for ticks.
But dammit, it’s April in Western North Dakota and I have been reminded, once again, I am no model. And unless I want to show up to a meeting with one of the world’s most loathed blood sucking insects taking up permanent residence on my body, I have to check for them everywhere and on a regular schedule.
Because out here surrounded by grasses and trees and fallen logs and dogs that never stay home, they are indeed everywhere.
Yesterday I found a really large family of them having a Thanksgiving style meal inside the pug’s left ear.
I wrestled my pudgy black mutt to the ground while I applied Frontline to his back and wondered if they make something like that for wild humans who live in wild places.
Seriously people, after finding a wood tick in my bed last night I have decided I’m not above wearing a tick collar. I mean, I am sure I wouldn’t be the first human to go to these lengths to avoid the plague of the pests. Maybe I could make some sort of fashion statement.
Ugh, it’s intense people, the hatred I’ve had for them ever since I was a kid who would come home from the trees at night only to strip down to my underwear while my momma pulled up to sixty or more wood ticks from my skinny, pale body.
When I was that age, nothing could keep me from those woods. But the ticks? They tried their damnedest.
And we still hate each other.
Well, I hate them.
They love me.
They love the place behind my ear, the spot where my waistband rests at my back, my arm pits, my thick head of hair and even my damn belly button for the love of Martha.
You feel itchy don’t you. You’re running your hands through your hair, huh? Calling your husband? It’s that spot on your leg again?
Go ahead, take off your jeans. Inspect for the insect.
I’m doing the same.
You had to do that. Only it wasn’t ticks for me. I spend Friday and Saturday with a swollen left foot due a spider bite. I think I need a bath or shower now.
One of the things I don’t miss about ND now that I live in AZ? Ticks. But, it could be worse. Check out this post from one of my favorite (somewhat vulgar) bloggers about where she found a tick…it’ll leave your skin crawling–and leave you laughing! http://barefootfoodie.com/2008/07/17/the-last-place-youd-look/
I hate, HATE ticks. The chickens have helped control the population, but ugh!
Weird memories of my father sitting on the front porch going through the ritual of lighting a cigarette and burning the little buggers off our dogs. We got the acetone treatment. And don’t even get me started on chiggers.
Found one in my hair. They must make Frontline for people!
I know everything has a purpose in the world but not sure why there are woodticks!! Yikes
FYI Frontline is no good for between the eyes of a dog – not enough blood circulation there for the potion to work. My poor dog got a nasty tick there, so huge it left a scar. I hope your pug didn’t get ear scars after the T-Day feast.
Am wondering what the first local people did for tick abatement. Any local plants like bog myrtle which the Scottish highlander use to warx off midges?
burning them out?
This is the first of your entries that has made me glad that I’m a California girl now instead of filling me with ND nostalgia. I do not miss ticks!
Ack! Ack!! and More AAAACKKK!! Hate the little bug(gers)!
OK, did you really need to write on that topic?? Until I finished reading and having a good laugh, I was scratching my head, neck, arm, back………aaaggghhh!!!
Do you need to add some chickens to your ranch??
GAH!!! Gross. Though I think I might take woodticks over something like the headlice outbreak at the kids’ daycare last week…
*scratch, scratch, scratch*
Oh my word! I just found a Tick in my hair. First one this season.
By the way, I love your blog. And your music. And the pictures. And horses. 🙂
I just discovered you from reading your article in 2econd thought.
ARGGGHHH! I hate ticks! But this was a funny post…but it’s a little itchy here now….Oh, absolutely the most hilarious title ever
At least you aren’t dealing with deer ticks! I just moved to Wisconsin and they are the nastiest things . . . everywhere, and so hard to find . . . my poor dog.
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