One hot day and the ticks are already out. Woke up today with itching, and found one in a spot that I cannot mention here. Yuck!
The only part of outdoor life that I really hate.The resultant itch drives me crazy.
Here in Chatham County (tick capital of NC) I expect to see them by the second week in April. I was surprised to find a couple a month ago and a couple more last week. Depending on my activities, I can expect to find between 30 and 130 attached ticks per year. One mid-season, I was in a doctor's office in Chapel Hill (Orange County) and the person in front of me was seeing the doctor Because they had had A tick bite. If I did that, I would spend every other day seeing my doctor.
Here's my approach to tick bites:
Spray the tick with aerosol athlete's foot spray. The cheapest brand works fine. This will kill the tick, causing it to release and allowing you to remove it 100% intact (no imbedded head in your flesh).
Put a small dab of toothpaste on the bite area and you will have no itch.
Trust me, it works.
Barbara in Southern Virginia (bordering North Carolina)
Going to try the toothpaste, at least, but how did you "discover" this cure?
Toothpaste works! Thanks, Barbara, for the tip.
Guineas and turkeys. Beneficial nematodes.
Lived in OK for 13 years on farms with woods and hay. Ticks were nearly gone after I started raising guineas. I also had peacocks, although I think they prefer bigger food, like rats and rattlesnakes.
ncrescue, you asked how I discovered the toothpaste cure for itchy tick bites. My first-cousin-in-law told me. We were living in Kansas at the time and were in Virginia for a family reunion. I remarked that every time we came "home," I ended up with tick bites that itched for months. I'm so glad he told me that simple cure. I live in Virginia now and garden in and around pines, which are reputed to be a tick haven.
tracydr, I've also heard that guineas will clear an area of ticks. Apparently it's one of their favorite foods.
Have a happy, tick-free summer!
Plays, I have spread the word about toothpaste. Tracy, I have no guineas so am still finding ticks after a day outdoors. I do spray, but my old chubby body must be attractive to ticks. I refuse to stay indoors, so I guess I will have to buy lots of toothpaste!!
I just moved here. I did live in rural parts of OK for 13 years. I'm looking for gunieas, Turkish, peafowl and ducks. I have a large pond and lots of aquatic weeds, plus snails so I guess I'll try ducks instead of chickens for the majority of my eggs.
Gunieas are great spring layers and are supposed to be very good meat, although mine have always been too wild to catch for butchering. I'll probably set up a covered pen/coop for night here which will allow me to catch them. I have a plucker so gunieas meat would be welcome for both us and the dogs/cats, who eat raw meat.