Guest Column

Tick season is here

May 12, 2011

By Ginger Isham

It’s a good time to remind those hiking the public trails and woodlands that this is tick season.

A friend of mine recently found a tick on her body after hiking the Oak View Hill trail near my home. I also had a tick experience this week after hiking for 1 ½ hours in our woods with my 4-year-old grandson. His grandfather said he saw a small snake that day so he wanted to go snake hunting. I did not tell him I am afraid of them! We hiked on Monday. On Tuesday, I found a tick near my waist. I removed it with tweezers, dropped it, and couldn’t find it. On Wednesday, at 3 a.m., on a bathroom break I found a tick (same one) near my hip. I was surprised it re-attached itself!  My remedy is to immediately rub the area with alcohol several times a day for two or three days after removing the tick. They need to feed more than a day before they really affect you, and symptoms of Lyme Disease may not show up for several days. Check with your doctor for exact directions because I obtain bits of knowledge from communicating with others and reading information on the Internet.

It is a good idea to wear a bug repellent that contains DEET, or buy a spray for your clothes.

Also, in reading information on ticks, it was suggested to remove the tick with tweezers by getting as close to the skin as possible and gently pulling straight out. Do not twist or turn as you remove it because the tick has mouthparts that are barbed. Then, disinfect the tweezers and wash your hands well (or wear gloves). After that, apply a disinfectant or antibiotic cream. I used both. Watch the area for several days for a rash or signs of an infection. I followed this procedure the first time I found a tick a few years ago and all was well. It is also a good idea to take a shower after hiking.

I was wearing a light colored, long sleeve turtleneck, a red sleeveless fleece vest, and long pants. My ankles were open and I wore sneakers with no socks. My grandson had pants and a sleeveless T-shirt. Of course I immediately phoned his mom to tell her so his daycare person could check his body for ticks. I was relieved when they called to say none were found.

Now I think I am more afraid of live creatures that attached themselves to my skin than snakes!

Ginger Isham is a Williston resident