Tick Resolutions Don’t Stick

I commented on Facebook just a few weeks ago that I wasn’t going to read any articles about ticks this year. “Ticks are scary enough all by themselves,” I said. ” I don’t need to read, or think, or worry about them more.”

So true. I wish I had stuck to the spirit of that statement and stayed away from all news about ticks. But, last night, when my husband told me there was going to be a scary tick report on TV, I couldn’t help myself. I stayed, and I watched. What the newscasters told us was awful: one guy, one short walk, 26 ticks. Ugh.

But let’s think for a moment. Is this really any different from what I saw here last year? There is a wooded area that I must walk through to get from my yard to the park trail. The path is narrow, and it’s usually impossible to get through the area without touching any plants. I always assume, even when it’s below freezing, that I’ll get ticks on me. I check myself carefully once I’m through, and I often find a tick. But there was at least one occasion last year when I found three, all from just that little patch of woods. So, for a longer walk in a similar area, would 26 be a startling number?

No, not at all. Assuming the same tick density, his walk would only have to be nine times longer than mine. That’s a brief walk, well under ten minutes. Ticks love the woodsy areas that we (suburbanites) have created for them, and I suspect that climate change is also benefiting them. It’s too bad, but it’s the reality that we have to live with now. I know it, and I should just accept that I know it and stick to my resolution to stay away from news about ticks!

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