Creepy Crawlies

I should be doing about a hundred things other than writing, but I’m kind of preoccupied about a couple of things and it’s hurting my concentration, and I’ve already run a report today that turned out to be full of errors. So I thought I’d take a break.

Yesterday we had a staff retreat at a nature preserve owned by the college. The retreat was actually really good, and the preserve is beautiful. I’d only been there once before. At lunch, they encouraged people to go explore the hiking trails, and while some people did exactly that, I was like “Nope. Ticks.”

See, I have major, major issues with ticks. I hate them. Hate isn’t even a strong enough word for it. I loathe them. I find them terrifying and disgusting. I’ve never had a tick embedded on me (knock on wood), and I seriously fear that if I ever do, I will pass out, hyperventilate, or just basically lose my shit. The thought of having a parasitic insect IN MY SKIN is about the grossest thing I can possibly imagine. (I have issues with all parasites, for the record, but ticks are worst. Ticks and worms. God. Ew.)

So I go to great lengths to keep myself out of tick-heavy situations. I stay out of the woods in the spring and summer. I avoid tall grasses. I check my entire body obsessively, head to toe, after spending any length of time outside. I barely touch the dogs because they get ticks on them a lot, and if I touch a tick with my hand while petting the dog, I will die. So I make my parents pull ticks off the animals. And the cats, which rarely get ticks for some reason, still have about a zillion kinds of flea and tick treatments. I spaz out if I even see one walking around.

Ew. Even writing about it this much is making me queasy.

So all those people who went hiking? Almost all of them founds ticks on their clothes when they got back. Those woods were FULL of them. One guy found three while sitting in our conference room. And now all of my coworkers know about my tick issues, because every time someone found one, I’d get all grossed out and it was all I could do not to just run out of the room, and then I was all looking like I had DTs, scratching every invisible itch that came up and going to the bathroom at least three times to check myself for ticks. Admittedly, I wasn’t the only one doing the phantom-scratchy thing, but I’m the weirdest, and was teased endlessly for it.

So far I haven’t found any. Cross your fingers.

So yesterday, I spent the entire day at a NATURE PRESERVE, and miraculously came home with no bug bites anywhere. Then I spent two hours washing my car and helping my dad carry lumber and measure and clamp and brace and level and stuff on the deck we’re building, and in those two hours I got more than twenty bug bites on my legs.

There are at least twice as many as I had last year, but at least they seem to be confined to my legs. I don’t have any on my face or the palms of my hands or anything weird like that.

They’re pretty small now and don’t itch much, but I’m really sensitive to insect bites and in a couple of days, they’ll swell up to the size of quarters and itch to the point of insanity and get all raw and gross.

Knowing this, I’m usually really good about coating myself in OFF! before spending even a little bit of time outside, but yesterday I just forgot all about it for some reason. Now, I’ve got a small arsenal of antihistamines and itch-stopping cream in my purse in case it gets bad.

But ew. Ticks. EW.

Comments 8

  • There's more I can say about the bug thing and how I find it humorous – and really, it has to do with a special dance mike reserves for bees.
    gnats.
    the like.
    BUT, what I like today is the idea that – should this blog roll on another 8 years I trust you will still search for and link back to former references of things discussed in new posts. (June 3 2008 – and waaay back *link when I was pink /link …)
    A map of every post and cross-references to every common theme, word or number that functioned <a href=”http://thesaurus.plumbdesign.com/index.jsp

  • Ticks don't bother me so much. What did bother me was last summer, when I had my first run-in with the chigger. Instead of sticking their heads in your skin and dining on your inner juices, chiggers vomit a digestive substance on your skin and drink your liquified flesh. This digestive substance is the strongest known to man (or so I read later) and leaves you with large, oozing sores that itch worse than anything you could possibly imagine. All this from a tiny bug that you can hardly see with the naked eye. So yeah, give me a tick or flea, anytime. Chiggers are the worst.

  • Mike: a better man than ticks can beat.

  • The tick talk is making my skin crawl. I once found one ON MY HEAD when I was like, nine, and it was a horribly traumatic experience. It made me feel unclean and unwashed or something. Disgusting. I compulsively check the dogs for them whenever I go outside, too. I don't really mind bugs as a whole, but there's just something about ticks (and cockroaches) that make me totally freak out. Especially when they get all huge and engorged and… now I won't be able to eat for days. Grossaroo.

  • We don't have as much of a problem with ticks out here, though they are not unknown — we just have our mountain lions, our bears, our rattle snakes, and poison oak.

  • OMFG. EW. I can't stand bugs, especially spiders. bleeech!! I have to deal with the occasional flea every now and again thanks to Scout though…

  • if you think ticks are ewhy then never go log rollering in a pond up in wiscosin. one word, leaches. alot of words, suctioned to your skin in every imaginable place sucking the blood right out of your viens!!!

    oh lori, it's just aweful.

  • Ok, so a suggestion for hiking the Appalachian Trail didn't go over well…

    Why do you think you have such an adversion?

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