Friday, 12 February 2016

Creepy Crawly Ick

I was born and raised in Alberta. Other than a brief gap-year in Ireland I've always lived in Alberta.

Alberta is pretty awesome. We don't have rats. No really, we don't. I never appreciated this fact until I lived in Ireland and the rats were the same size as my cat.

Another fact I've been pretty grateful for, especially as Lyme disease comes more to the forefront of the news, is the lack of ticks.

I'm not claiming Alberta doesn't have ticks, we do, but they are not very prevalent, especially in the Prairies. As you move north into the forest and west into the mountains you are more likely to encounter ticks.

Because of this I've managed to go nearly 30 years without ever personal experience with a tick. When I pulled Dee's blanket the other day I had to go get someone else to confirm that the black spot I found was in fact a tick. With some help (and the handy travel size tweezers in my purse) I managed to successfully remove the creepy little thing.

I'm not overly bothered by bugs. But something about a creature with it's head buried under the skin and still being able to see it's legs wiggle gives me the heebie-jeebies. Ugh. Just typing that made me vaguely uncomfortable.

Alberta has a Submit-A-Tick program in an effort to track and asses the risk of Lyme disease. (Most Alberta doctors refuse to admit we have Lyme in the province and as such it is nearly impossible for sufferers to get treatment, but that is a completely different story). I dropped off the tick and within a week they called to let me know it was a Winter Tick, likely transferred from a moose, and not a carrier of Lyme disease.

I still have no idea how Dee managed to pick it up and have it appear under her blanket in the span of 16 hours.

Here's to hoping I don't have any more tick encounters. Apparently I can never move. Sandra was telling us horror stories of her time in Virginia where they had to remove ticks from legs every single day. Just no. Ick.


  1. Ticks are definitely the most disgusting bug. We don't have many here (and have the same issue with doctors pretending lyme disease isn't a thing), but it's enough.

    I'll take snakes and spiders over ticks every day of the week.

  2. I found a tick crawling on Nilla during our trail ride on Tuesday. It's crazy. Normally we get a reprieve during winter and this year apparently not.

  3. Ugh, they are so nasty. Very cool you guys have a testing program for them. Where I lived in PA, if you found a tick on your horse, you just automatically started Lyme treatment.

  4. Oh ick. I live in fear of one of those attaching itself to me. Those and leeches! Alberta got me with a leech last year, but fingers crossed no ticks yet!

  5. Ewwwwwwww! The first year I had my young horses there was a lice outbreak in the herd. So disgusting. Ticks sound even worse (I hope I never see one haha)

  6. wow that thing is huge! most of the lyme-carrying ticks in our area are much smaller... (it's unfortunately super prevalent here, and many barns will have a 'tick jar' hanging around in the summer that's full of alcohol or something for you to drop all the ticks into after pulling them off your horse....) and it actually doesn't much surprise me that it ended up in that spot tho - they seek out dark warm spots. ick ick...

  7. You don't have rats or ticks?! Is Alberta in the Artic Circle??

    1. Nope, just a very intense and effective Rat Control program that has been in effect since the 50's. And a geography and climate that isn't super tick friendly.