The ticks came marching two by two

There are at least nine ticks in this picture.

I was out in the garden half the day, putting in some starts.  I go back to my pots of broccoli, and I find a mass of competing ticks playing king of the mountain on the popsicle stick (gross!).

Ticks climb up things, and then wait at the very tip of a branch or stick, reaching out their little legs like they want a hug, waiting for a mammal to walk by, and then they will drop  or grab as you go by.   The two on the right hand pot are in position.

Here, the popsicle stick must have been the highest point, so hot property.  They also like to sit in wait on the rim of buckets.  While I was taking the picture, and thinking how long is it going to take me to kill all these ticks?  a couple dropped and set off at a clip straight towards me.  They must have a great sense of smell.

We have lots of ticks.  Stand still anywhere, watch the ground, and you can find a  tick walking toward you.  This is not a fun feeling.

And where there are real ticks, there are phantom ticks.  There´s nothing like the first tick bite of the year to start up that feeling of ticks crawling all over you, all the time, even if it´s actually your hair or the tag in your shirt.  Less than ten percent of the time, it is a real tick, but ´tis the season to be on edge.

I need several platoons of guineas out here to mop them up.  Speaking of which, they all seem to be getting along.  This morning when I opened the greenhouse, the new ones led the charge out the door and flowed straight into the woods. 

I caught sight occasionally of the new ones in the woods, confused, squawking, but at the end of the day they were all together again, and standing around the greenhouse.  Hopefully the new ones will show them around.


10 thoughts on “The ticks came marching two by two”

  1. I thought you were joking about so many ticks. Phantom ticks…. did you make that term up? Love it ! You DO have a gross number of ticks . A really gross number. May your guineas save you!

    1. I think I got it from phantom limb syndrome. I used to get phantom hard hat, and phantom boots, after wearing for so long that it feels like you´re still wearing it although you´ve taken it off. In this case, it´s the ticks that you imagine are there, and feel the creepy tickling, although there isn´t actually a tick, most of the time.

  2. Where do you live? I would be terrified to see that many ticks together. They give me the creeps and the phantom ticks are real! I did have a doctor to tell me the safest way to get one off if it has bitten you is to flip them over on their back and then pull parallel to your skin. The mouth part that goes into your skin is hooked. When you flip them over, it straightens out and makes it easy to get off, safely. I kill them by putting them in a container with a little bit of alcohol that I keep handy.

    1. I know, they´re so disturbing! It´s a wonder they never made a movie about ticks enlarged by a radioactive accident and destroying cities, screaming women fleeing in adequate clothes…you know: “Ticked Off! They´re out for blooood” (drippy red font) Bloated ticks behind skyscrapers…

    2. Oh, Nova Scotia. There´s kind of an increase in ticks here in the last few years and an outbreak of Lyme disease

      1. Wonder why the increase? Has a natural predator declined? We have to be careful about Lyme disease here too, but, thank goodness, we don’t have that many ticks! I think I’d never go outdoors if we did (and I love to be outside)!

  3. I hate those bloody things. Fortunately we don’t seem to be inundated by them – the moose around here are though……they’re called ghost moose – because the infestations are so high they become anemic and look like ghosts
    – which of course leads them to an unfortunate and miserable death. We actually bath our horses with a product that only needs to be applied twice – to make sure they don’t pick up ticks when they’re in the bush.

    1. Oh no. I´ve not heard of that. Ticks bringing down a moose! What´s the “product”? Is it safe for dogs and/or people?

      1. Ectiban 25
        It’s not for people or pets or milking cows – we get it from our vet. Technically it’s for beef cattle, sheep, chickens…..can be used in a cattle oiler or as a spray. Our vet gives it to us for the horses (but it’s off label). The dose is 1/8 cup in a five gallon pail of water. We soak the horses down once, then again in fourteen days and that’s it for the year. We have always stayed away from products like this on our farm – but trying to pull ticks off two draft horses with a ton of feathering on their legs on a daily basis – sometimes I make the unfavorable choice in favor of the animals.

Leave a Reply