Oh the lovely wood tick. Luckily they are not year round in Manitoba but when we near spring I can’t help but think of those dreaded ticks. A walk in the bush is not as simple as it sounds during this season. You must consider what you’re wearing and constantly be checking to make sure none have climbed up your clothing or worse into your hair!
If you have not experienced wood tick season let’s just say it frightens a lot of children. Growing up my friends would freak out if they found one attached to their skin. They vowed never to venture out into the yard for fear of getting their blood sucked. I of course was used to it but still those little critters were always on my mind. After every play time out in the yard or tramp through the forest we’d come home and inspect our clothes and mom would search our hair. It wasn’t fun but it was smart.
I won’t gross you out with the details of what happens when you don’t remove a wood tick but I’d like to remind you that if you enjoy the forest then you must also welcome all of its tiny little inhabitants.
This summer will be the first time my dog Finn will be running around in the forest when we take him camping and out for walks. Dogs can easily get ticks and I’ve seen some pretty massive ones. Especially behind their ears! I’m not looking forward to finding them on Finn so I’m going to look into a natural spray that will help repel them and definitely monitor him when walking through the bush.
Basically, if you go out into the woods make sure to:
- wear clothing that doesn’t expose much skin
- tie your hair back if it’s long
- bring some type of bug repellent
- actively check your clothing and hair for ticks
These are the rules I always followed and never had a problem with them. Doesn’t mean I didn’t get wood ticks but I certainly didn’t let them get to the point of having to be surgically removed or catching lyme disease.
Like every creature of the forest we must respect that they have a role in the environment which they live and understand how we can exist together.