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What's your experience with tick bites this season?

Posted by susanzone5 z5NY (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 13:53

I have been bitten about 5 times this season. I'm in Ulster County. Two have been deer ticks which I've never had before this year. I had to literally dig one out of my head this week. It was really engorged with blood.

I took the 200mg of doxycycline, but can't figure out why this is a prophylactic measure. It doesn't cure anything, does it? I also read that ticks can transmit a bunch of other diseases like encephalitis and other bacterial/viral/parasite diseases. I've studied this a lot.

I shower everyday that I am outdoors. Some days I find one climbing the shower wall. I found one on my shampoo bottle.

This is freaking me out to the point that I don't want to garden. I'm a dancer, and the thought of having lyme disease is scary. This, after 40 years of gardening.

What have you experienced?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What's your experience with tick bites this season?

I'm a bit further north in Columbia County. It's been a harsh winter and a cold, wet and lengthy Spring. I was hoping the cold winter would help keep the population down, but no such luck. Ticks seem as heavy this year as I have ever seen them.

But don't let them keep you out of the garden. You were given doxycycline to prevent lyme disease. An infected tick must be attached for at least 24 hours to transmit lyme disease, and even then it's not a guaranteed process. If you're infected, you'll see a "target" symbol, a flushed red mark, around a round white ring, around the innermost red bitemark. It's very distinctive. Here's an image link:

If you get the tick off you at the end of the day, you're pretty safe from contracting lyme. Tips to keep them off of you:

- use DEET spray around your neck and head, hands, and below the knees.
- Wear boots, kneelength is best, and tuck in your pant legs. Tuck in your shirt. Wear long sleeves. This makes the ticks climb all the way up the outside of your clothing to get to you, which lowers their odds significantly.
- Do a full body check at the end of the day. Pay special attention to your hairline, ears (including inside), belly button, armpits and crotch.

Here's a good article from the CDC on tick/lyme prevention:

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