Seth Gets a Tick

While we’re on the subject of insects…

If you’re from Western Colorado like we are, hiking is like the meat and potatoes of your spring/summer/fall outdoor activities.  Seth and I have romped all our our mesa, hills, and mountains for nearly our entire lives, and never have we ever been bit by anything worse than a mosquito (well, maybe the occasional deer fly).

So you can imagine our surprise when we stepped foot on to the Tennesseean hills and discovered the ground under our feet was crawling with ticks.  Having grown up at the base of the Grand Mesa (where it’s a little more “mountainy” and less desert), Seth’s tick bites were limited to a couple throughout his entire childhood.  I have never so much as seen a tick except in gory internet pics.

We quickly got our little persons in our Subi, and got to glorious concrete where the ticks aren’t as adventures and prolific.  A week passed; no tick bites from our limited exposure.

And then, he found it.






By the look on his face, I could tell something was wrong.

“I have a tick,” Seth managed to squeak out.

“Lemme see it!” Immediately, I was filled with equal parts horror and fascination.

After doing a bunch of research on how exactly to pull out a tick (and about Lyme’s Disease), we discovered the best way to pull out a tick was to grab it as close to the head as possible and gently pull on it side to side.  There is a chance that in the pulling process, the tick’s head could pop off. Reportedly, the thing would get very uncomfortable and backs out on its own, ensuring that the head remains intact so you don’t have to go digging around inside your skin for it.

I guess Seth got impatient or something because *POP*!  He yanked that tick out of his side and, in the process, popped the head off.  I then did my wifely duties and performed surgery with a knife and a needle to get the head out.  Then, I saved the tick in a plastic baggie.

I have several reasons for doing this.
If it turns out Seth contracts Lyme’s Disease (which is unlikely), we can have the tick tested.

Also, if I ever pick up scrapbooking, guess who’s going to have his own page…

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12 Responses to Seth Gets a Tick

  1. Aunt Kathy says:

    Oh, the adventure of it all!!

  2. Joseph Brown says:

    It's ok, I once got 32 ticks on a camping trip ( my record ). P.S. I live in Tennessee

  3. Zema says:

    Sooooo . . . did you say exactly where this tick was attached? Jon has a really spooky story about the places ticks seem to attach. Every now and then he says he thinks that tick is still connected. Ewwww . . .

  4. queenabrelatas says:

    I know a male, who shall remain nameless, who got a tick in the most unfriendly of places (which shall also remain nameless). He burned it off (the tick), carefully, with a match.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Growing up in Oklahoma I've had more ticks than I can remember. Reach down and yank 'em off. I never had any problems afterwards.

  6. Sarah says:

    I have only ever had one tick in my life and it was indeed in an unfriendly area. Yuck.

  7. Leslie says:

    Hey guys… Once upon a time, working at a summer camp in Minnesota, I got a tick on my hip and pulled it and the head popped off and stayed inside my hip. The nurse told me to just leave it and that eventually it would go away. It did, but it was creepy. Also I do not have lyme's disease, and you are unlikely to get it unless the tick was a deer tick. The bigger rounder kind are wood ticks and they don't usually carry the disease. Smaller ticks are deer ticks and they do carry it. The one in the picture looks like a wood tick to me. When I worked at this camp, I was the Health Director, so I had to learn all about it and also pull off about a hundred of them from various kids.

  8. Bexi says:

    Oh. My. God.

    I can't handle the bug stories!!! *shivers*

  9. Short and Hat says:

    For the record, the tick was on his hip front–they DO like those warm, moist areas don't they?
    I feel so much better knowing that ya'lls have gotten them (some of you, in abundance) and are doing ok.
    Also, we loved your stories! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Ann H says:

    I grew up in the Missouri Ozarks and ticks are just a fact of life.

    Tick First Aid:
    –To prevent, use OFF!, or other repellant rated for ticks.
    –To remove, aim tick body perpendicular to skin and pull. Some use vaseline to suffocate. I find that is a time-tedious method. If tick is found to have engorged (swollen) or embedded further than head-deep, however, I would suffocate because of risk of popping or breaking tick. It is difficult to get head out if it does.
    –To treat, slather irritated area with cortisone.
    Special cases:
    –If you discover you have stepped in a nest of ticks, they will be tiny dots all over your shoes/ankles. Hose with cold water. Cold water slows their activity and you can more easily remove them. Most of these tiny ones if you catch them low will not have bitten. Some may have: check between your toes, under your toenails, and where your socks are elastic. Remove with tweezers. Cursory check of higher body crevices that evening in the shower should reveal you are free of all tiny parasites.
    –If your irritation swells red and white around the bite, seek medical attention. This is an indication of a lyme-disease infected parasite.
    –If you do break a tick, remove remaining portion as if it were a splinter. (needle, tweezers, abrasive padding). Treat with both antibacterial (broken skin) and cortisone.

  11. Lon Mudie says:

    Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick’s body helps you avoid diseases the tick may pass on during feeding. Removing the tick’s head helps prevent an infection in the skin where it bit you. See the Home Treatment section of this topic for the best way to remove a tick.’..”‘

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