Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Oh My God!! Ticks!!!!

May 17 - 20, 2017

The E.A. Vaughn Wildlife Management Area seemed like a reasonable place to chill for a few days while another blast of hot weather blew through.  It turned out to be less than ideal, partly due to the parking area being several yards from the trees, and partly because - dear god - we are in tick country.

When I pulled in there was a pickup parked with two guys doing something to a dog.  I immediately offered the use of my 'cat repair kit' but they said they were only removing ticks from the dog after a walk.  Eww. Thanks for the warning.  I immediately consulted Google and discovered that wearing light colored clothing and using DEET were an excellent deterrent.  Uh huh.

The next morning I went for a walk.  I was hoping the cooler air would deter ticks along with my long pants over knee-length socks and tucked into a second pair of ankle socks.  I sprayed my shoes, socks and pants with Off, and rubbed my DIY bug repellent over the rest of my skin.  I even tucked the repellent wipes into my hair before setting off to check out the hunting area.

It was a pleasant walk through knee-high grass although this part of the world seems to have flies that bite you.  FLIES!!  Shouldn't they be munching on deer poop or something?  Blah.

Got back after about an hour and found ticks all over my pants, socks and shoes.  So much for DEET.

I disrobed outside, carefully stepping into my sandals as I removed each tennis shoe and hung the clothes on the mirrors.  One site I had visited mentioned vinegar as a tick deterrent so I sprayed that on the pants, socks and shoes and left them to dry.

And then I didn't walk in the grass again.

Despite all this, I still managed to get four ticks on me and one on the cat. Eww eww eww eww.  I know there's some prescribed method for removing those suckers properly, but I went for the 'scream and tug' method.  Highly effective.

I'm thinking the ticks were so abundant that even stepping onto the mown area they got on my shoes and made their way into the camper.  Ewwwwwwww.

It also got much hotter than predicted.  The cats were miserable.

Bo gets patted down with water when it gets really warm.  There was a slight breeze coming in the door and I augmented it with a battery powered fan.

Even Butch, who glories in being toasty, was limp.

The fun part about staying here was watching the hunters.  They'd arrive early decked out in camouflage to trek back into the grass and wait for the turkeys.  A few hours later they'd trek back, climb into their pickups and go home.  Shortly after that the turkeys would come into the camping area to eat all those yummy ticks stalking unwary rvers. 

Sorry for the blur - it's the zoom on my phone.

Hot weather is over! Time for another beach!

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