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Gross, Found a tick on me....

July 22nd, 2011 at 06:47 am

I think I was getting a little too complacent after having had my yard perimeter sprayed with either an insecticide or water. It's part of a Yale tick study; I was thinking positively that it was the spray because I've noticed an obvious lack of carpenter ants this year and I read that the insecticide that kills ticks also kills ants.

But anyway, I've been berry picking in the backyard on pretty much a daily basis. I think I got too careless, even while sweating my butt off wearing the hip boots at times (!) because this early a.m. I was still in bed and noticed a very itchy spot on my finger. I figured a spider or mosquito had bitten me. When I got up and looked, there was a tiny, tiny black speck in between my 2 fingers. I scraped it with my fingernail and watched it. It moved. I freaked.

I put it in the toilet bowl and flushed.

I've had Lyme disease twice in the last 5 years. Luckily no lasting effects, just 3 weeks on antibiotics and avoiding the sun. I know they have to be attached to you for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme, assuming they are positive for carrying the virus (at least half of them are).

I don't want to pay a $30 copay + the cost of meds if I don't need to. So I will watch for symptoms but not run to the doctor unless I notice any symptoms, which for me has always been persistent headaches.

I also have some leftover herbs (Andrographis is one) from last time I had Lyme and the antibiotics didn't seem to work. I had read a book about treating it with various herbs, and about 4 weeks on them after 2 rounds of antibiotics, 3 weeks apiece, in fact did the trick.

Don't assume that just because they're herbs, they aren't heavy-duty. I had taken too much of the Andrographus last time (you're supposed to ramp up gradually) and I broke out in horrible hives/rash. So it is potent stuff. It's anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial. And according to the book author, who I corresponded with, the herbs can also be used as a preventative, not just after the fact.



Isn't this a pretty pot of marigolds? I did not plant flowers, nor seeds. They all sprang up in different pots I had last year where the dried up flower blooms had reseeded themselves. I carefully transplanted them all to this one pot and they've done wonderfully. They're so cheerful!


Here's a window box on the side of my garage. It gets the full brunt of the southward-facing sun, and most annuals fry in this location. You just can't water enough to keep them looking healthy. So I decided to try succulents,and they've exceeded my expectations. You can see here a large hen and chick along with some creeping red sedums. (There's also a few pots of strawberries below, on the driveway.)

In the center there's a round rock, one of about a dozen I took as a "souvenir" from a beach somewhere in northeastern Canada. I remember that a Border Patrol agent yelled at me when he inspected our trunk as we returned to the States, but he didn't take them from me. I still use those exceedingly round rocks in various Asian style rock formations around my yard. I really like them.

So a few weeks ago the Honda dealer replaced the rear right wheel drum because it was rusting and bits of metal that had flaked off were getting inside the wheel and making a noise when I drove. I had to bring it back a 2nd time becus afterwards, it made a funny noise when I applied the brake. They had to file down the wheel becus it's possible it was warped, he said.

Then I had to bring it back a 3rd time and it seemed fine. But then I look at the drum yesterday, which you can easily see thru my rims, and the drum is all rusty. Just got it a few days ago. I'm guessing it rusted while sitting around a warehouse for who knows how long, but I'm not sure I should be paying $160 for a rusty drum. Called the dealer, he confirmed it was a new part, and said i could bring it by and he'd take a look. Which I will do this afternoon, after I meet with grad student to get supplies for the nutrition study.

So for those of you who followed by heat challenge yesterday, I ended up turning off the AC around 9 pm although it was still 80 degrees outside. I took a cold shower and slept in my upstairs bedroom where it is most comfortable. It was 88 degrees all night long and by the time I woke at 4:45 a.m., the downstairs was a muggy 80 while the outdoor temp was now down to about 75. So I flung open every window in the house, but had the AC going again around 7 a.m. It's that hot.

So the downstairs, set at 80, is comfortable, but not much to do down there! My kitchen is there and i can listen to the radio. But my upstairs office is still hot. Oh well.

I noticed mold growing on both my toilet bowls.

For anyone who is still reading at this point, I mentioned earlier a noticeable absence of those disgusting carpenter ants this year. I really think that spray is the reason why. But now I'm battling the tiny sugar ants. They're small in size but not in number. I actually had one rather large population attempt to colonize my living space as I discovered a trail, coming in from the corner of the front storm door, continuing along the front wall of the living room, then down the length of an Indian area rug, down along the fringe of a small Moroccan rug, along to the kitchen, past the cat food bowls, up the cabinets and along the bottom of the counter where they finally ended up on the counter where I'd been killing them and not knowing where they were coming from.

I deccimated that group, but i was still getting ants in the kitchen near the sink area. AFter doing some caulking of cracks, I FINALLY figured out they were coming in from behind 2 different wall outlet switches! I sealed them both up with extra wide packaging tape and thought I had licked the problem, but i'm still getting ants and STILL don't know where they're coming from. Unless you're staring directly at possible openings/crevices/cracks, you can't tell for sure because they just seem to wander aimlessley. It's very frustrating.

I have some ant bait and will have to sprinkle that outside around the house but i'm not sure they go for it as much as carpenter ants do. I need to get some pure boric acid, but not sure where to get it.

6 Responses to “Gross, Found a tick on me....”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    Yuck--lots of bugs here too. I was in the bathroom last night before bed and there was a centipede the size of a city bus. I almost woke DH up, but dealt with him myself. Summer! I got boric acid for our )now gone) carpenter ants at the hardware store. Your garden is beautiful!

  2. Buckeye Says:

    Terro is the name of the sure fire ant remover at my house. I place just two drops on the floor of the door jamb. The ants converge, eat it, then go back to their nest where they die, and are consumed by the other ants. Within 24 hrs. I see no ants. It seems to work on all types of ants. This is a very old product that has been resurrected.

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    I love your marigolds! I envy your yards, they are so pretty!

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    I second the Terro recommendation. You have to let them gather around the drops and drink for a couple days, so that's kind of maddening. But after that they all disappear. I don't know what kind I had--big black ones. Terro dispatched them summarily. Smile

  5. Ima saver Says:

    dh found a tick on his head last night. They are starting a new house and do the land clearing and grading. Even with two dogs, I have never found a tick on either one.

  6. My English Castle Says:

    I've used Terro "enclosed" ant traps that eliminates the small open cardboard feeding stations. They were a great success when we had ants in the kitchen and bathroom last spring.

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