Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Interview with a Young Tick Crusader. If You're Active in the Outdoors, How to Get Ticks Out of Your Life. Take a Sec to Check!

Ahh, Ma Nature and the glorious creatures she’s created to WOW us with her brilliance. Like the colorful, exotically-tropical Toucan or our loyal, family-of-5, adored Labrador. 

Yet, she also likes to WOW us with her head-scratching WTF creatures …  her Darwinian need to continue the blood-lines of creepy, disgusting, worthless? creatures like the dreaded, elementary school head-lice, the endless mosquitos in your ear at 2am, or, even, grossest, the TICK.

I was recently contacted by a concerned young, intern named Cara Sullivan from the TickEncounter Resource Center in Rhode Island, who knows my readers, friends, family, and favorite pooches are all avid hikers, campers, and outdoorsy-types who love a romp in the fields, woods, bushes….. right where these creatures with no redeeming value like to ambush us.

Tick Crusader Cara Sullivan
I wanted to hear more about the ticks and what would get a young person crusading about tick prevention, so here's a fun Q&A I had with Cara about TICKS: 

1. What is your background? Why do you study and work with ticks?I am a senior at The University of Rhode Island. I was intrigued by this internship because a few years back, my family had to put down my black lab because she contracted Lyme Disease. Tick-borne diseases and awareness about ticks are personal matters for me.

2. What is it about tick prevention that gets you up out of bed in the morning? I want people to know about the easy ways that they can prevent tick bites from happening! It is such an easy thing to make a habit that everyone can do it!

3. Is there anything good about ticks?
Ticks are just little pests for spreading disease! 

If a tick is found on a child, or anyone, remove the tick with a pair of pointy tweezers after disinfecting it. Disinfect the area again. Put the tick in a sealed plastic bag immediately after removal. Consider sending it in to get tested as well.

5. What is a tick's purpose in life?
The exact answer to this question is still unclear, but as far as I'm concerned, they don't have a beneficial purpose. 

Ahhh....I knew it! No purpose in life has that tick. 

But since I wasn’t satisfied with this answer, I Googled it. “purpose in life of a tick."

And found this answer on answers.yahoo by some guy named “Nice guy”:
Nature does not ask about a purpose, it just provides ecological niches, that is particular resource spaces where organisms can potentially live and survive. Many organisms are parasites, they live on or within other organisms and suck their blood or other liquids or tissues because they can. They have no intrinsic purpose because they don't need one.

Woah..... Fascinating...... Thanks, Nice guy. 

They have no intrinsic purpose because they don’t need one. Does this apply to certain difficult humans in our lives as well???

Anyway, back to ticks, Cara and her group have more tips for us outdoorsy-types, so I’ll post them below. And in the meantime, happy hiking, camping, and def take a sec to check.

Namaste & Three Cheers! – OM

What can you do to prevent ticks from biting your children?
  • Apply repellents that contain permethrin
  • Keep your grass cut short and clear brush
  • Avoid areas of low-lying bushes and plants
After playing outside, make it a habit to check your children for ticks. Pay extra attention to the areas between the toes, back of the knees, groin, armpits, neck, along the hairline, and in and behind the ears.

If it is not recognized early enough and treated appropriately, the effects of Lyme Disease vary from serious joint or heart problems to central nervous system problems.

Gross but informative How To Remove a Tick video below!


  1. Ick! But really useful information as I head out to the wet and overgrown midwest.

    1. ick is right, but i agree! happy and tick-less travels to you and the gang, michelle!

    2. I really hope my post enabled you to have a TickSafe adventure!

    3. we are heading into tick country -- wish us luck!