Saturday, June 20, 2009
One out of three Internet searches, leading to my blog this spring, has been about bugs on Cape Cod: mosquitoes, bed bugs, deer ticks. For info on bed bug prevention, see my earlier blog on the subject. I can predict that there will be lots of mosquitoes in Wellfleet this summer, due to all the rain, so bring bug spray. Apparently,the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail already sports a cloud of mosquitoes, awaiting lunch. Everyone has been saying the ticks are also really bad. I had proof the other night. Energetic guests from New York included the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in their power schedule. After their departure, I remade the bed in Liberty Coin Suite, but did not vacuum the floor prior to sleep. In the morning, I found a nymph in the crook of my left arm. It must have come in on their clothing or purse and, by the time, it had made the trek up the bedpost, I was sleeping in the bed. Eek! Get the dreadful thing out! I careened into the hall and down the stairs, towards tweezers. Over to the window I sped for more light. Impossible to tell where the head was, so I grasped as best I could and pulled. Nymphs are so teensy-tiny that the result was less than perfect. From my sewing box came a needle to dig into my flesh. Tiny legs emerged. I applied alcohol but was not satisfied. When Sven got up, I had him dig around some more to be sure we had removed the head. Then, my friend Tracy Plaut took out a final leg with her dandy new TickedOff spoon, which you can order here. I now have a hole in my arm and much trepidation as to whether the tick had time to transmit Lyme. There is obviously less chance that a nymph would be carrying disease than a mature male or female deer tick, but the risk does exist. I always, always school guests on the danger ticks present, since I had Lyme three years ago. I had told the New York guests to be especially careful at the Wildlife Sanctuary, since deer ticks also travel on birds, but it is mighty hard to stop a speck the size of a poppy seed, in search of a first blood meal. Beware, beware! Would someone please invent a satisfactory way of combating ticks and a cure for Lyme disease?
Posted by Alexandra Grabbe at 10:42 AM
More on Cape Cod Ticks and Other Bugs, 2009