Monday, October 08, 2007

Ticks suck

…The first sign was some little blackish spider things in one of HA’s CD cases (she listens to CDs in her room at night). Of course, she also couldn’t see these insects too well, either, even with glasses.

….She put the critters down the toilet.

…Her new dog Jimmy (stray, 4 months in residence) was scratching. He is woolly as a lamb, thick, thick—she could not see anything on him.

…In bed a few nights later, HA felt teeny little feet on her arm. She threw on the light! A brown bug was crawling on her! She brushed it off. Ick, ick.

…Next night, same. She then turned to Jimmy at the foot of the bed…A similar insect was crawling over the top of his wool.

…Screeching around, HA got her daughter to get flea and tick shampoo.. As the dog was wetted down, his big old floppy ears were STUDDED with gray dots. Tons of them. They were all over him!

…HA lathered and lathered. He ran away. She got him back. HA raked engorged insects of his ears, his stomach, everywhere.

…Now, four days later, the exterminator has come for the first of two treatments. Ticks live in your walls and come out, he said, to feed. Feed! Oh, gross. There are stages and each requires a "blood meal." One article mentioned "mouth parts." HA quit reading.

….Three were feeding on HA. She got those off and the blood thinners they inject made the blood flow down her leg to her ankle.

…By the time you read this, the dog will have been shaved. HA can now search him pretty well. The cats were also treated, but they don’t get infested, HA was told.

…Ticks come in many types. Here in the Low Desert, we don’t have the deer tick that spreads Lyme Disease (they are the size of a period on a sentence). These are big—housefly size or a little smaller. They can transmit relapsing fever and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Also a bunch of dog diseases.

…HA is more freaked out about the ICK FACTOR, the little feet tiptapping, the poor studded dog, waking every hour to scan the walls. The creepy crawly feeling.

…The exterminator used a supposedly safe spray. We did not have to leave the house. He will treat again in two weeks. The dog will be shaved by the time you read this.

…But HA will never be the same. Always on the lookout. Did he scratch? What is going on in those walls. Should she turn off the night light?

…HA now hates Nature. Crocuses in the snow, mountain streams, tigers, trees, and lilypads can stay, but everything else has to go!

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