Icky Ticks


| 5/16/2018 11:58:00 AM


Life and Adventures at Diamond W RanchIn my neck of the woods, ticks are a way of life. Summertime is all but here in the Midwest, and we are already on tick patrol after every outing.

I don't remember ticks being such a nuisance as a kid. Sure, we had one every so often, and the dogs always had a few. But they weren't as common, and tickborne diseases were a rarity.

However, tickborne diseases have tripled since the 1990s. Diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that 20 years ago were considered rare, are now almost commonplace in some areas of the United States.

New diseases such as Heartland disease and Bourbon disease (named for Bourbon County, Kansas, where it was discovered) are emerging as well. The symptoms and possible long-term effects of these diseases is downright terrifying.

lone star tick
Photo by Getty Images/Anest.



Those of us who farm, care for livestock, hunt, garden, or take part in any other outdoor activities daily are especially at risk for getting tick bites. Preventing this from happening is our best defense against getting sick. The obvious and first advice given for prevention is to avoid areas where ticks are found.

freeman
6/17/2018 3:03:58 PM

i'm an old dude; i started 1st grade at the end of the 1950s. i, too, remember getting ticks on my body, and getting tick bites (and this was in the southwest, yet), and i never got any illness from them. we had all heard of rocky mountain spotted fever, but had never seen it, nor had any of our friends and acquaintances had it (and if they knew anybody else who had it, i never heard about it). i suspect that the ecosystem was in flux then, and is now as well, and that things have changed in subsequent decades. not that change is necessarily a *bad* thing, as life *is* change, but things are changing. i guess it's up to us to make sure the changes are beneficial to as many life forms as possible.


freeman
6/17/2018 3:03:24 PM

i'm an old dude; i started 1st grade at the end of the 1950s. i, too, remember getting ticks on my body, and getting tick bites (and this was in the southwest, yet), and i never got any illness from them. we had all heard of rocky mountain spotted fever, but had never seen it, nor had any of our friends and acquaintances had it (and if they knew anybody else who had it, i never heard about it). i suspect that the ecosystem was in flux then, and is now as well, and that things have changed in subsequent decades. not that change is necessarily a *bad* thing, as life *is* change, but things are changing. i guess it's up to us to make sure the changes are beneficial to as many life forms as possible.