Synopsis: All the horror can be avoided entirely by simply calling Sonoma Marin Arborists Inc for help with all tall grass mowing and any not-otherwise-specified deforestation needs, especially during dreaded tick season (April-September).
Northern Californians, we know the tick-prophylactic drill: Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and high boots need to be dawned for even the most idle traipsing through bucolic surroundings. For the fanciful Sunset Campout People, that means the Summer days of heedless unicorn communing are sadly over. Tuck your shirts into your pants and your pants into your socks, to cover any gaps in your clothing where ticks can get in. Yes, your outdoor fashion may look more like Lisa Loopner and, unfortunately, cause aversion in even the most sensible of unicorns, but it will also help you prevent getting bitten by the wrong bloodsucker. Seriously, these disease vectors can lay-in-wait, questing on a branch for YEARS, people!
Now, if prevention fails, then tick removal is survivable, as long as one stays CALM:
Note: Fueled by panic and misguided by any number of prevaricating folk remedies, a tick-ridden individual may need tranquilizing before this type of insect removal can be successfully performed.
1. Have the person visualize one of those unicorns they just promised to stop pursuing through the forest.
2. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
3. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
4. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, soap and water or autoclave.
Medical experts warn about using folk remedies (twisting the tick in circles, suffocating it with butter, Vaseline, nail polish, burning it with flame), because cruel irony aside, disturbing or exciting the tick will induce the tick to regurgitate, or vomit any disease it might be carrying, right back into your bloodstream!
Once bitten, do remain vigilant for signs of Erythema migrans (EM) or “bull’s-eye” rash, as well as, other early symptoms of Lymes Disease infection such as fever, headache, fatigue, and/or depression. (Not to be confused with or dismissed as just another episode of PMS or menopause to endure, we assure you this disease is not caused by hormones and has a whole different arse-kicking trajectory.) EM rash occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3-30 days (average is about 7 days). It gradually expands over a period of several days, and can reach up to 12 inches (30 cm) across. Parts of the rash may clear as it enlarges, resulting in a “bull’s-eye” appearance. This rash usually feels warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful. EM lesions may appear on any area of the body. So-NOT-yay.
So what is the GOOD NEWS? If a tick is attached less than 24 HRS, infection is UNLIKELY! So Everyone, DO YOUR TICK CHECKS! It’s a good idea to wear light-colored clothing so you can spot these interlopers, immediately!
Remember, until SMA arrives to tame your timbers, always try and avoid direct association with ticks possibly carrying the abhorrent bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi (these are very much bad ticks that are particularly nasty and suck worst of all). Which means, avoid stalking unicorns in wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter that may serve as tick habitat, as it might very well save your day, your year, or even your nervous system. Hence the crucial tall grass or brush mowing agenda. Don’t be a Lymes Disease Mofo’s next blood meal!