Be aware of teeny, tiny ticks that are latching onto the skin completely unnoticed
Here’s a deeply unpleasant story involving tiny critters. Mom Christal Turner took to Facebook to share a picture of practically microscopic ticks that had latched onto her son’s neck completely unnoticed. Warning: this story will kick your tick checks into overdrive.
Turner posted a picture of the group of ticks that had managed to quietly make a home on her son’s skin. “Would you have spotted these ticks?” she wrote. “My son had 7 on him! To the unsuspecting eye they just appear as specks of dirt or freckles. #lymediseaseawareness.”
Sure enough, the sneaky ticks looked like tiny black dots. Take a really, really close look and you’ll spot the crawly legs.
Her post racked up 12,000 shares and hundred of comments, many of which included scary, gross experiences with ticks.
This is super, super important to take into consideration because of the risk of Lyme disease. According to the CDC, a whopping 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported every year. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, headache, and rashes. If the disease isn’t treated, things escalate and can affect the joints, heart, and nervous system.
The best way to combat all of this? Avoid being exposed to ticks at all costs. They carry the icky bacteria that can lead to the disease. That means using Environmental Protection Agency registered insect repellents, walking in the center of trails when you hike, and staying clear of areas with high grass.
Once you’re inside, be sure to do a full tick check. That means checking under the arms, in the ears, inside the belly button, in the hair, between the legs, and around the waist.
You’re going to want to check your pets for ticks, as well. Take a comprehensive look around their ears, the tail, eyelids, under the collar and under the legs (plus between the toes!)
Okay, so, what do you do if you spot ticks on your kids? There’s a couple of tactics. You can put a cotton ball in warm, soapy water and then place it on the part of the skin with the tick on it. Once you remove the ball, the tick should hopefully come off with it.
If that doesn’t work, go with the tweezer. Grip the tick by it’s head or mouth (I know, gross) and then remove. If you’d like, you can place the tick in a jar and bring it to your kid’s pediatrician to check if it carries Lyme disease.
Turner tells Scary Mommy that May Lyme disease awareness month. She says she found the ticks on her son after he played in leaves at his grandparents’ home. “I have an eye for them since my husband use to do brushcutting work and I did regular tick checks on him,” she shares. “Even without him doing that line of work anymore we still get ticks every year. Rarely do we get them at our house in a residential area but my son just got one on Friday from herding the chickens that escaped back into our yard. He was just outside our fence in taller grass.”
Unfortunately, ticks are on the rise right now thanks, in part, to the weather.
“It’s not too cold, and it’s not too dry, and it’s really not too wet, because we’ve been experiencing this drizzly weather, this overcast weather,” research associate Susan Elias told WGME. “When they come up and they’re experiencing that high heat of summertime, it can drive them out. It can kill them.”
Here’s hoping for a really, really hot summer.
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