Deer Tick & Lyme Disease Alert!
Yikes! Suddenly we are seeing a lot of ticks on our property and apparently at least some of them are the dreaded Deer Ticks that can carry Lyme Disease. An article in the Kennebec Journal suggested that this greater-than-usual tick population is due to our recent unusually warm winter. Perhaps we can thank Global Warming for that.
In any case, I found a tick on my upper back early Monday morning. We removed it with tweezers and placed it a small jar for later identification, as is the recommended procedure. I called my doctor and his nurses said to identify the tick from Internet pictures and call back. It looked very much like an engorged female Deer Tick, so my doctor prescribed 200mg of doxycycline (the recommended early antibiotic preventative treatment for Lyme disease).
I'll be watching my bite site for signs of Lyme infection, in which case I will be taking more antibiotics.
This is a heads up for you to increase your precautions against Lyme-carrying ticks by using repellents like DEET applied on yourselves and clothing, and additionally, permethrin on your clothing and your footware. When possible, blouse your pants inside your boots and check yourself daily for ticks. Early tick removal is desirable. I don't look forward to getting Lyme and I don't think any of you do either. It has some unpleasant symptoms and bad effects on your quality of life. For more information, see Lyme Disease: 2005-2006 Update for Maine Clinicians.
You might want to look at and print out this Maine Tick Identification Card that I used to identify my tick.
As they used to say on that old TV cop program, "Be careful out there."