We are in the heart of tick season (which runs, we find, for well more than half of the year), which means that the various news media are full of advice on how to avoid the deadly bites. The thing is, I'm just not sure if it's even worth it.
- Apply an insect repellent containing DEET to clothing or skin. - Well sure, but the stink! And the poison! Considering the low probability of actually contacting lyme disease—to say nothing of even being bitten by a tick in the first place—I think I'd rather stay away from the substance that brought eagles to the brink of extinction. Oh wait, that was DDT? DEET isn't poison? Never mind. But it still tastes bad.
- Stick to the center of trails and avoid direct contact with bushes and tall grass. - While there are times that I'd love to stick to the center of trails, Rascal tends to have different ideas. And most of the time I enjoy exploring as much as he does. As for staying away from tall grass, no way. I'll even lie down in the stuff, if it's sunny out!
- Wear light-colored long pants. Tuck shirt in pants and pants in socks. - Light colored long pants, tucked into socks? Really?! That'll work great: there's no way the ticks will be able to bite you, they'll be laughing too hard. Along with every other living thing in the woods. Yes, even the trees. Leah will tell you that I am not the hight of fashion, but even I know that a painful death from lyme disease and its "arthritic, cardiac, and neurological complications" is far better than committing such a fashion faux pas.
So in short, I'll just risk it. And check for ticks every time I come back inside. After all, it takes them a while to even bite you, and even longer for the little lyme diseases to get into the blood. Strangely enough, I haven't found a single tick since I started checking... after the two bites before that. And since those two have yet to show the slightest signs of bullseye rash, I can safely say "So far, so good!"