Okay, the ticks have been SO bad the last 3 years, but this year I think wins the tick prize. Global warming?
Okay, I just ran a search to see if I was being paranoid and discovered many many sites saying the same thing. And parasitologists agree, the population has exploded. I agree, a parasitologist is a really GROSS JOB.
The usual suspects abound. Warmer winters, suburbs encroaching on wild areas, more deer, damn birds and a new one-the return to planting more trees and saving green spaces and not using as many pesticides. So, I guess pave the world and kill all the green, winged and furry things, then drop the temps to below 10 for a week or more. That'll fix it.
What to do before that almost inevitable end is reached? There's no sure-fire thing. I put K9 Advantix on the dogs and flea/tick stuff on the cats and they still have had a few ticks. I use common sense when outdoors, but just last night, a tick was making for my head while I was watching a movie. I saw it running across my shoulder and Matt saved me (I was holding the popcorn) I had not been outside in a couple of hours previous to that and then I was just on the porch. It seems like a few bites are unavoidable and with the plethora of diseases and the sheer effect the bite has on the body now, it's hard to know if and when to panic.
Everyone I have spoken with who has spent any time outside all report not just bites, but big red welts that itch and hurt and last for weeks, including Matt and the kids. Even the dogs are digging at old bites long after the tick has been removed. I have spent some time today looking up what might help, there does not seem to be a great deal. Sprays and wearing long legged and long sleeved clothes tucked in. This is obviously someone who has not been in Alabama in the summer and does not realize sprays will end up in your eyes and then sweated off and long things tucked in is tantamount to begging for a heat stroke.
My best suggestion-put eucalyptus oil on a bandana and wear it on your head and put a few drops on your socks and pant cuffs. If you want to put it right on your skin, dilute it with any veggie-based oil because straight out of the bottle it can irritate skin. There's some evidence that taking vitamin B will ward off attacks and of course, not having much body heat can keep you safe, especially when there are tastier hotties around. That's my usual tactic, sometimes a low metabolism is not all bad. It takes a special person to freeze solid in 70 degree temps. I am that special person. Another thing is to avoid sweets and fruits before you head out. Just as the vitamin B and oils make you less tasty, sweets make you sweeter. A high-sugar diet will get you bit.
Good luck this summer, and beyond. I don't foresee the plague lifting any time soon.