Yesterday, my daughter and I spent some time at a local pond during an end-of-school-year picnic. We just sat in the grass, watching the birds, and soaking up the sun. It was another PERFECT day in Maine.
We know about ticks and we’re very careful at this time of the year. We won’t go near tall grass, cat tails, or spend unnecessary time under trees. But this grass was short and flat.
Still, there was a point where two little girls out in a rowboat lost their oars and we had to wade through tall grass and wildflowers to get to the other side of the pond and help them. I won’t go into all that – the little girls were saved and the only casualties were some jeans and shoes that got covered in pond mud.
Not long after that, we headed home, but first I had a couple of stops to make.
As I grabbed a few things at Rite Aid, I was walking down the candy aisle (yes, I admit it) and I felt something crawling on my arm. Yeah, you guessed it – it was a tick. One of the biggest ticks I’ve ever seen.
I had one of those freak-out reactions, and without thinking clearly (or at all) I frantically slapped away the tick. It went flying across the floor of Rite Aid, and then I couldn’t find it.
I didn’t want to just leave a huge, evil, live tick crawling maliciously around our local Rite Aid, but what was I to do? Besides, I had to get out of there and check to see if there were any MORE ticks on me or my daughter – or in the car. Eww – freaks me out just talking about it.
We raced home and went into our respective bathrooms to, you know, disrobe and make sure there were no more ticks anywhere on us or our clothing. My daughter quickly jumped into the shower, and I would have, but there was still yard work to do here at the house. After shaking out my clothes and my hair, all of which came out tick-free, I went back outside.
I might add here that we have NEVER found a tick in our yard or on one of our dogs – or on one of us for that matter. The only times we’ve acquired ticks has been when we walk through the local woods to the pond, or go elsewhere. Our yard is blissfully (knock on wood) tick-free.
I might add that right now, a whole day later, I’m itching from head to toe, just writing this.
Ok, so after a few hours of yard work, and then a pizza dinner, I finally got around to taking a shower. And guess what. Yes. There was a tick on my back. I have no idea if it had been in my hair, in my clothes, or what, but understand that THERE HAD BEEN A TICK ON ME FOR AT LEAST FIVE HOURS.
I don’t remember how many times I washed my hair. I only found the one tick, and I drowned it in the shower and then flushed it down the toilet, but I figured there had to be more.
In spite of all the creepy crawliness, I can’t seem to get this song out of my head:
Today I’m doing laundry and cleaning the house. If there are more ticks, I will find the little buggers.
This is war, people.
Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes