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Tick bites are an area of particular horror for me. As a child, I was nervous to the point of obsession about them. All I had to hear regarding the habits of any insect was that they ‘drink your blood,’ and I was instantly scared to death of them.

Tick bites were especially terrifying for me because, unlike a mosquito that takes a nip and flies off, they stay attached to your body until they have had their fill. I have vivid memories of my parents removing full, or partially full ticks, from our dogs. They looked like misshapen grapes with little legs sticking out. The memory still makes me shudder!

It’s More Than Just a Bite

Years later, ticks still make my skin crawl, especially because now I know that their creepiness extends beyond the mere fact that they like to drink your blood — as if that wasn’t bad enough. According to the CDC, ticks carry over 15 known diseases, with cases dispersed throughout the US.

I grew up on 40 acres of beautiful forest. Nature was my childhood. I spent long hours racing through the woods with my sisters, picking berries, hunting mushrooms and playing in our creek. Tick bites, unfortunately, were not uncommon.

The tick bites I experienced as a child were from wood ticks. At some point in the last 20 years, the tick population on our property changed, and we stopped seeing wood ticks. Deer ticks had taken over. My mother tells me that when I was a child there was literally no information on the dangers of disease from these bites and our family doctor dismissed questions and worries regarding them.

My family’s first encounter with Lyme disease was when I was in high school. My little sister became terribly ill from a deer tick bite. Although she received treatment, fifteen years later, she still suffers from complications of chronic Lyme disease. My mom’s health has also been devastated by this terrible disease.

To learn more tips on tick prevention, click here for the complete article written by Becki Obrien.


October 28, 2023

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Healthy Place

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