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Are Ticks Getting Smarter?


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It seems to me like these little buggers are coming up with a new strategy. We all know enough to check thoroughly for ticks after venturing forth into the woods in search of a cache, but both my tick encounters so far have lead me to believe they have a new strategy. No, it's not jumping from trees and yelling "Spoon!" either.

 

My first encounter was a couple weeks ago. As I pulled into my parking space after a day of caching there was something crawling on the inside of my windshield that looked suspiciously like a tick. I took out my knife and let it crawl on and confirmed its identity, then cleaved it in twain on my dashboard. Nigh invulnerable, perhaps, but not completely so! Score: Me 1, Ticks 0.

 

Then today after getting back from a mandatory meeting at work on my day off, I got home and found one of them crawling on me. I put it on my desk, retrieved me knive and cut it into multiple tick bits. Hey, that might not be a bad name for a cereal. Anyway, I haven't been in the woods all day, so the only explanation is they've started to lurk in cars to wait until you haven't been in the woods and then pounce on you unawares. The first one was obviously trying to get to cover, but was discovered first. The second one tried it and would have succeeded were it not for my early tick warning system. Since these ticks likely came from far apart, one from Massachusetts and one from Maine, it only stands to reason that there's some sort of ÜberTick acting as a kind of mastermind. Beware this new tick strategy, and maybe the ÜberTick is like the Master Vampire. Kill it and they all die.

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Ticks are everywhere this year. I see log after log mentioning them.

Me too. Log after log!

 

I don't know that ticks are getting smater, but there definitely are more of them this year. Ticks also will sometimes spend a full day crawling around deciding where it wants to attach. So you could pick up a tick and find it crawling around a day later. Also if you missed it while attached, you might find it crawling around somewhere after it detached. I sometimes have problems when my dog gets ticks and I don't find all of them. They later detach from the dog and I find them crawling in the house. Hence why I search the dog really well for several days after outings!

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5ca98010-7e94-473f-a83c-d5a5f77dc9b8.jpg

 

Uber Tick??  He doesns't look very bright.  Shouldn't be too hard to kill him and end the seige.

 

:D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :grin:  :sad:  :lol:  ;)

 

Happy caching and stuff:D

Brain.jpg

 

Now this is an Uber Tick!!! ala Starship Troopers

:bad::D:D:D

Edited by vinced
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I dont know. Once i was crawling around out in the woods, just being sneaky, you know for fun. i came back inside, and left my cloths in the hamper and took a shower. I then slipped into some clean cloths, as the other ones were soiled. Then i found one of the buggers on me so I plucked it off and then flushed him down the toilet. OOOOOH Tickey go down the hole! The next day, my mother had ticks on her. Also my sister and father also had ticks on them, as well as our cats and dog. we were busy scratching for i guess a day or two, picking them all off. Turns out, we had to get bug bombs and fumigate the house. What had happened is that I crawled through a nest of ticks. A female tick can lay 1000 eggs. But these were larger adults so i have no idea why there were so many.

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Ya know, y'all are keeping my 13 year old protogee pretty spooked with all this tick talk! I can't get him to tromp through anything that doesn't resemble cement or tarmac. :ph34r:

 

Maybe you should all come to Colorado. I haven't seen a tick in over five years. None showing up on the two geocaching terriers, either. (Maybe that $30 tick repellent really is working!)

 

What the heck, we'll just geocache here in the "tick" months and...somewhere else when it snows.

 

(Would somebody please write something nice about ticks so I can get the 13y.o. out caching again? Thanks.) :)

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Something good about ticks? Well, they once... you see they can... well carp... hey I got it. They give your bone marrow a good work out replacing all that lost blood. Wait.. thats what dad said briars were for... Oh oh .. dont forgot the immune system workout. Hey ticks make you exercise on the inside..

 

How's that. Ok now wheres my check :ph34r:

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I posted this in last summer's tick thread:

 

True story...

 

Several years ago a co-worker brought in something he found on his carpet and didn't know what it was. We recognized it immediately as a gorged wood tick about the size of a grape. It was still alive so we kept it in a jar in our office to see what would happen. After several weeks, it proceeded to lay hundreds of eggs over a period of a few days days. After another month or so the eggs started to hatch into tiny tick larvae. As most of us were starting to get grossed out at this point, we began to consider destroying and disposing of the babies. A female co-worker was appalled at our talk, took the jar home and released the ticks in a vacant lot near her home! :ph34r:

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I posted this in last summer's tick thread:

 

True story...

 

Several years ago a co-worker brought in something he found on his carpet and didn't know what it was. We recognized it immediately as a gorged wood tick about the size of a grape. It was still alive so we kept it in a jar in our office to see what would happen. After several weeks, it proceeded to lay hundreds of eggs over a period of a few days days. After another month or so the eggs started to hatch into tiny tick larvae. As most of us were starting to get grossed out at this point, we began to consider destroying and disposing of the babies. A female co-worker was appalled at our talk, took the jar home and released the ticks in a vacant lot near her home! :grin:

THAT'S why there are so many of them out there this year!! LEt's blame the coworker!!! :mad:

 

Bec

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Some info on the life cycle of ticks here

 

Look at the actual size of ticks...

 

And according to http://www.aldf.com/Babesiosis.asp "Deer ticks cannot jump or fly, and will not drop from an above-ground perch onto a passing animal. Potential hosts (which include all wild birds and mammals, domestic animals and humans) acquire ticks only by direct contact with them."

 

...so you musta got one of them jackrabbit ticks.

 

They only make you sick if you eat them.

 

Friend of mine at school did her senior project on ticks. I forget the term for it but they climb up the host (counter?) clock-wise so as long as you stuff your pants in your socks and your shirt in your pants, you should have a bit of time to find them.

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I'm constantly impressed by the breadth of Enfanta's knowledge. You'd almost think she hangs around liberrys or something. Perhaps someday she will grace our forums with her comprehensive understanding of bats. Especially rabid bats.

 

Oops. The thread is about ticks. Ticks are everywhere this year. I see log after log mentioning them.

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I see Leprechaun after Leprechaun mentioning log after log mentioning them. :grin:

 

Seriously, they're not all that bad for me, since I've found the little suckers well before they got attached to me. Early detection is key, and be aware that they may leave your clothing or backpack and hang out in your car only to surface again later, so keep a lookout not only on caching days, but for a few days after too.

 

When I was 13 and in scouts, ticks didn't bug me much either, but I took a childish enjoyment in burning or cutting them up to kill them. Of course that's back when people trusted 13 year olds with matches and knives and expected them not to do anything too mind numbingly stupid with them.

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Ya know, y'all are keeping my 13 year old protogee pretty spooked with all this tick talk! I can't get him to tromp through anything that doesn't resemble cement or tarmac. :grin:

 

Maybe you should all come to Colorado. I haven't seen a tick in over five years. None showing up on the two geocaching terriers, either. (Maybe that $30 tick repellent really is working!)

 

What the heck, we'll just geocache here in the "tick" months and...somewhere else when it snows.

 

(Would somebody please write something nice about ticks so I can get the 13y.o. out caching again? Thanks.) :mad:

Uh, they make for a good cartoon character?

 

tick_t.jpg

 

Sorry, that probably makes for a another good reason to stay home....

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I have had more ticks this year than ever before, and that's with less time in the woods! Also, I am eaten alive by chiggers this year. I have started upping the percentage of DEET in my repellent, and of course forgetting it when I go caching!

Also, ticks seem to gravitate towards the, ahem, "doo-dad" area, where I ain't wild about spraying chemicals INTENDED to be irritating. It's to the point now where I just wear BDU pants and spray the crap outta them.

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Ya know, y'all are keeping my 13 year old protogee pretty spooked with all this tick talk! I can't get him to tromp through anything that doesn't resemble cement or tarmac.  :P

 

Maybe you should all come to Colorado. I haven't seen a tick in over five years. None showing up on the two geocaching terriers, either. (Maybe that $30 tick repellent really is working!)

 

What the heck, we'll just geocache here in the "tick" months and...somewhere else when it snows.

 

(Would somebody please write something nice about ticks so I can get the 13y.o. out caching again? Thanks.) B)

 

Dont let the 13 yr old read this post. As you know I live near you in Colorado, and this year I have seen more ticks here then I have any other year I have been in Colorado. We have found them in the house in Loveland, primarily from dropping off our clothes I'm sure. I see them mostly "in the wild" in wetter areas of the foothills and mountains, and have not seen a "wild" tick in Loveland, only the afore mentioned house ticks. None of us have had one attach to us in Colorado though.

 

When I lived in Pennsylvania especially when I was younger, it was not uncommon to find attached ticks on me, and really common find them crawling on you. Hiking in PA, there were places where you had to stop every 5 or 10 minutes to pick the accumulated ticks off your socks and legs.

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ticks and fleas, and even mosquitos don't really like me. I don't taste good. acidic skin or something....or should I be worried....hehehee.

We have different species here in San Diego, but they are out there in vast numbers this year here too, as noted by the fact that I actually found one on myself one day! the horror!!!

 

anyway, anyone else like me, that they don't bite too often?

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Friend of mine at school did her senior project on ticks. I forget the term for it but they climb up the host (counter?) clock-wise so as long as you stuff your pants in your socks and your shirt in your pants, you should have a bit of time to find them.

The term is called questing. They will climb as high up as 3 feet on tall grass stalks and cling at the very tip with their front legs projected outward in preparation to snag onto the first mammal that walks by.

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I work outdoors, and am always dealing with ticks. I've recently taken to wearing a pair of small leather gaiters over the tops of my boots, with my pant legs covered (some of my co-workers make fun of my appearance, but at least I don't have creepy crawlies in my pant legs and boots!). Additionally, I wear long sleeves and long pants all the time, but I can't seem to keep ticks off the back of my neck, so matter what kind of insect repellent I apply. :)

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Ummm...ticks are arachnids....not insects. 8 legs, not six. :lol:

Well, the permethrin we were talking about is actually an arthropod repellant. All insects and ALL arachnids are arthropods. <_<

 

Oh and BTW Allan2, yes I get that feeling too when Ive had ticks on me. My guess is that it is a natural reaction to parasites.

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Actually ticks are insects and actually they are not that smart.

 

jimbo-i'm back!! :lol:<_<

I was just replying to this when I said that ticks were arachnids. I used to teach science, and I can get really picky. :P hehehehe. silly me.

 

When I found that tick on my neck, I just felt vile, and felt itchy crawly for at least an hour....Yuck!

 

my mom claims that I got bit all the time as a toddler when we lived in Panama, in the canal zone, but all I remember is how cool all the caterpillars in my bedroom were (they were all over the bus stop too), no glass in the windows there! just screens. :P Oh, I also remember the armidillos and being warned not to play with them, because they bite. Is it true?

Oh, and the sloth who visited the mango tree near our house was really cool (even if I did run home to tell my mommy about the 'monster' in the tree when I first saw it)

 

but ticks suck....yeah.

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Many years ago, after an outing in the woods, the the wife and I brought home at least 20 ticks with us. Found them in the house for days after. Even sent one home with the baby sitter when I drove her to her house. Picked up from the car no doubt. Just goes to show the one time we forget to check ourselves over good........ <_<

 

Course, that pales to the collection my young cousins, (female) had at their dads cabin in northern Minnesota. They had a quart jar nearly full. Dead, mind you.

Good girls!!!! :lol:

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Ummm...ticks are arachnids....not insects. 8 legs, not six. :P

Well, the permethrin we were talking about is actually an arthropod repellant. All insects and ALL arachnids are arthropods. :lol:

 

Oh and BTW Allan2, yes I get that feeling too when Ive had ticks on me. My guess is that it is a natural reaction to parasites.

Funny thing; I'm still scratching. And each time I double check for another tick. It drives me crazy! <_<

 

Actually Permethrin is an insecticide. It actually kills. Deet on the other hand is a repellent. It doesn't kill mosquitos, rather it confuses them so they find it difficult to land. They're not sure where they are. So they fly off to get you later when the Deet wears off:)

 

Alan

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Does anyone else imagine they have bugs crawling on them everytime they come out of the woods or is it only me? :unsure:

No, you're not the only one. I call it my 'tick paranoia', and have to check everytime I feel the slightest hint of something crawling on me. Most of the time its my imagination, but every once in a while, it actually is a tick.

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Friend of mine at school did her senior project on ticks. I forget the term for it but they climb up the host (counter?) clock-wise so as long as you stuff your pants in your socks and your shirt in your pants, you should have a bit of time to find them.

The term is called questing. They will climb as high up as 3 feet on tall grass stalks and cling at the very tip with their front legs projected outward in preparation to snag onto the first mammal that walks by.

Thats what I have heard too. I also heard that allot of ticks are at the edges of a trail, and if your on a trail that is not wide enough to avoide touching the tall grass on either side, you may be better off walking off the trail.

 

I know where I live ticks are a way of life, I can walk out into my back yard for just a couple of mins and come back in with a few ticks. And I do agree they seems specially bad this year.

 

Wyatt W.

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Used a permethrin based spray that I purchased at Walmart on our clothes yesterday and let dry overnite.

 

It was quite enjoyable to see the mosquitoes occasionally land then get a bit slower and slower until they just fell too the ground. Very cool.

 

We undoubtedly had tick encounters today too as we did some nasty bushwhacking in an area with a lot of deer about. Hoping it had same effect on those buggers(the ticks) too.

 

Be aware that permethrin is for clothing and fabric only. NOT to be used directly on skin.

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From the May 9th News of the Weird

 

http://newsoftheweird.com/archive/nw040509.html

 

From a November 2003 article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, on the fatal transmission of Rocky Mountain spotted fever from two dogs to their owner: "One man in Mississippi contracted Rocky Mountain spotted fever when he killed ticks he had removed from his dog by biting them with his teeth. This may seem unusual," the veterinarian-authors wrote, "but we have since encountered other persons who claimed to kill ticks by biting them." [Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 11-15-03]

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I'm from NE Ohio. We have hardly any ticks here, even in the thicker forests. I can't remember the last time I saw a tick. Anyway I recently traveled to Arkansas to visit family. So I have to nail a cache in Arkansas to open up my finds list past my own tristate area. Low and behold there's a cache not 0.7 miles from my grandmother's house. I get there and find it in a very wooded area. Not to far off the trail, but I remember how tick laden the ouside is here from my childhood. Figuring I won't be in long I wander into the woods. Took a little longer than I thought. So I pull of my shirt and perform a reasonably thourough tick check. I check my ankle area etc. Clean. Great I hop in the car and head out. Then I remember something I read long ago in the geocaching forum. Someone recounted how they often deal with ticks and they have taken to wearing those short/long pant zip-off combos as the the zipper area seems to attract them. It dawns on me I am wearing zip-off pants myself. I trepidiously pull back the fabric lip that covers the leg zipper... My god... four turkey ticks scrambling to find a way in. I stop the car, hop out and de-tick. So fist tip, anecdotal as it may be, try the zip offs. It does seem to trap them.

 

Second tip. This is scientifically sound. We used to do this when I lived down south as a child. Baby oil around the ankle, waistline, arm holes and neck aperatures. Really discourages the little buggers from climbing in. I imagine its the pungent petroleum base. Works wonders, good for the skin and has little or nne of the permethrin toxicity. Doesn't protect your hair though, unless your Fonzie. :D

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This is yet another "tick" thread that makes my skin crawl just by reading it. I can feel them crawling all over me now, even though I am at work sitting in air-conditioned comfort. ;) My friend and I went to a cache recently and checked ourselves for ticks before reentering the car, but when we sat down, I saw he had two on his pant leg. I think they must have been hiding near the car where we did our check, then jumped on him after they heard us say "All Clear". I don't think they were already in the car.

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I was just thinking about that. I just got cargo pants and thought what a great place for them not to be found when you're looking. Might be better ff going back to my plain khaki's where you can see them crawling.

 

Can't stand ticks. Ruins caching as far as I'm concerned. Where's the snow already?

Edited by Alan2
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