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I was completely taken off guard when, after a morning romp around the yard and a doggy bath in the laundry tub, I found a tick on Sniffer’s belly.  But you see, this didn’t happen this past weekend, it was a couple of weekends ago before I had even mowed the yard for the first time.  The weather, while moving the temperature up to around 70 for a couple of days, was primarily still cold and wet; thus, the reason for my disbelief.  But I knew then that tick season had already begun.

The tick Jenny and I pulled off of Sniffer’s underside wasn’t even a “baby.”  It appeared to be a full grown dog tick, which heightened my disbelief.  It was way too early for full grown ticks, so I figured that this one must have been living off another animal, dropped off at one point and then hitched a ride on Sniffer for another meal.  I may be wrong, but it makes me feel better than to think that full grown ticks were already ambushing all of us in early April!

Anything that has a desire to suck my blood immediately revolts me and brings out an animal-level aggression.  Whether it’s a tick, mosquito, leech, etc., I immediately want to end its life by any means necessary.  I realize that this is purely an emotional response, but if anything or anyone wants my blood, I want to give it on my terms, not theirs.  Is that really too much to ask?  Ticks are vile and worthless creatures in my opinion, especially since they carry all sorts of diseases, bacterial and viral.

Just think about what diseases ticks can give you…Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis, STARI and Powassan.  Uck!  And some of these are difficult to diagnosis by doctors or have no known treatment.

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This is not just a rural problem, although your chances are greater in rural areas.  Even within city limits, ticks can be transferred by animals and can end up on you!  So when working outside in any kind of vegetation, you should protect yourself by applying a repellent on your skin that has a high DEET concentration, and/or apply Duranon or Permanone tick repellent to your clothing.

You can find out more about ticks and how to battle these blood suckers by visiting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.