Tick Attack!

After my Muni ride today my neck started to hurt, especially to the touch; very tender and “hot” feeling. I thought I must had sprained it somehow. Then about 90 minutes ago I had a little “itch” on the back of my neck, and when I went to scratch it, I felt a funny little “lump” on the back of my neck.

It was a TICK!!! Yep, a bloody, bloodsucking tick! So I drove to the ER just about an hour ago, and they removed it. I was relieved when they said it was “highly unlikely” that it was carrying Lyme. Thank goodness for that!

But they did say that symptoms of Lyme can take a week to appear, and that if I come down with a fever or feel sick, to come back. I will keep my fingers crossed on that one! Ticks are very small, so it’s a good idea to check your body and clothes after riding on trails, especially if you go off the trail as I do in search of stuff to jump off and stuff, lol! :o

This is what the Doc pulled out of the back of my neck!


Wow, we have ticks all the time here in minnesota, I just pull them off with tweezers if they’ve bit already and crush them, burn them, or flush them. One time my friend had 6 ticks after doing some stuff in the woods. :astonished: Not sure how a tick can grab onto a moving unicyclist though, must have happened while you were sitting down or something. Hope you don’t get Lyme!

I would have tried to remove it myself, but it was in an awkward place, where I couldn’t see it directly. I didn’t want to end up breaking it off, leaving the mouth parts inside me neck! Anyway, I’m pretty sure I picked up the little bugger while trying to ride down this steep hill, which was covered with a dead leaves a foot deep! I fell back into it a couple times before I successfully rode it all the way down. :o

Tick checks used to be a nightly ritual back when I used to lead back country trips in the upper mid-west. I remember talking on the phone one night with my girlfriend (to become wife) and pulling out a dozen of the little buggers.

It’s a good thing you got it out, and that you know where it was. I’m sure the doc’s told you what to look for but as soon as you see anything that looks like ringworm you need to get treatment. A friend of mine had lyme disease that wasn’t diagnosed until pretty late, and she was never the same again. From what I understand when you stop it it stops, but the damage is done, so the earlier you find it the better.

Yeah I was told Lyme disease is almost unheard of out in Los Angeles county, and is most prevalent northeastern and upper midwest states.

“The vast majority of cases of Lyme disease occur in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Other states where the disease is prevalent include Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Maryland, Minnesota, and Delaware.”

Tick twister

Those tiny ticks can be pretty tough to get off (safely). I have a couple of green plastic things that make tick removal surprisingly easy–the “Tick Twister”. I have a friend whose partner loved them so much he bought a case so he could give them out to people he knows, so we didn’t have to spend the four bucks, but it’s totally worth buying it. I’ve done ice, tweezers, petroleum jelly, and a blown-out matchstick end, several of these on both people and dogs, and the Tick Twister is by far the best in terms of consistency and effectiveness.

Good luck with never falling on tick territory again. :wink:

You went to the ER for a tick?

In really bad tick years used to get 40-50 ticks a day when playing on our mixed prairie bush land when I was a kid. We don’t have Lyme in SK and ticks north of the treeline are uncommon to unheard of. Part of the reason I prefer being up north.

You are on second base when you check each-other for ticks…

:astonished: wow thats alot of ticks!

That looks like a cool hill to ride down :smiley: That sucks about the tick, my sister got one once and she absultly hated it!

I wanted to just go to my doc down the street for a simple removal, byt it was after 6pm and they were closed. I just wanted it out, and the pain was intense, but oddly, not at the bite area. pain was becoming worse and feeling hot and very tender to touch, along the right side if my neck from just under my ear lobe to the bottom of my neck. Still hurts this morning but a little less than before.

Now the bite area hurts, but probably because the er doc used a really sharp pointed forceps to pull the tick out. It seemed to take a long time for her to remove it, and I felt those sharp forceps trying to pry it out. After she removed it, she said there was still a “little pepper spec” of a piece remaining, and so she poked and prodded away until she got that last part out.

A single tic and you’re worried about Lyme?

Dude, I pull dozens of tics of me, my dogs, etc… nearly twelve months out of the year.

I used to save them in a quart jar, but it got full :roll_eyes:

Seriously, don’t fret over it, the odds of getting Lyme are not that high or I’d have gotten it many years ago.

Now let’s talk about a serious issue: Dogs and skunks!

Haha, yeah I overreacted but this was the first time I’d ever had one–or found one on me. And when I saw it in the mirror on the back of my neck it was pretty scary looking! This rather large bump with what looked like a big black or blood red spot in the middle of it.

I immediately thought it was a tick or some kind of insect bite, but ruled out a spider since there were not two marks. from now on when I’m on trails I will try not to brush up against shrubby, sit on the ground, logs, or anything likely to harbor these little buggers! I may also start putting on tick and bug repellent. This stuff looks interesting, and is chemical free. Just not sure how effective it is, compared to deet.


Pain In The Neck

Sorry to hear you got “ticked”, but glad you got “ticked off”.

A tiny bit of kerosene on the tick and they will usually look for greener pastures. Obviously don’t lose track of the thing, they are quite durable and resistant to crushing.

For those of you who live in areas where ticks commonly carry Lyme Disease: Save the tick. You can actually mail the tick to Igenex lab in Palo Alto, California and they can examine the tick to see if it carries the Borelia burgorferi bacterium that causes Lyme Disease. If you start to get strange symptoms then send the tick off for examination and start on a course of antibiotics. Diagnosing and treating Lyme Disease in the early stages makes all the difference in the world.
OK, I’m done with the public service announcement. Now get back on that unicycle and ride like a mad man!


Thanks for that info. I did save the tick; he’s in a deep freeze at the moment. I’m tryng to preserve the evidence! :smiley:

I have “just pulled off” many ticks

I remember stories about how you must paint them with nail polish, or burn them or something. Otherwise, the jaws will remain in you and become infected.

Total BS IMHO. I have never felt pain from a tick, but it is gross, and I pull them off straight out, using my fingers.

I would say I have pulled 50 ticks off my hide this way, and a few thousand off of the dogs.

No docs or vets needed. Grab it between thumb and finger and pull straight out. I have never had a bad result. The mythology that the ticks jaw may remain in you is false IMHO. Just pull it off and step on it. Done.

I have never seen a case where a tick bite became infected. Just pull that sucker off, and continue to enjoy your day.

Yah I have never had pain from a tick bite either. I guess maybe if I was in a city, never had a tick before and was in pain I would see a doc as well. I keep on forgetting how convenient it is for most people to see a doctor.

Like FTL says just pull em off but make sure not to squeeze them as they can squirt partially digested concentrated red blood-cell goo back into your blood.

If you do use your bare fingers, make sure that you wash your hands before touching anything else. If you were to rub your eyes, you can transfer any disease into your system that way.

I originally was going to ask about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but after looking it up, I see that it’s quite rare to get it in California.

More “Tick Talk”:

Son of a BI##C! I can’t believe it, but somehow another tick hitched a ride, this time on my stomach! I rode my usual trail today, being careful to stay ON the trail and not brush up against foliage or sit on logs. I did set up my camera a few times, but always on the dirt trail.

So on the way home I felt a funny sensation on my stomach, lifted my shirt and there it was! I pulled over and as gently as I could, I pulled it out with my bare hand. It was really ON good and seemed to have a full tank of my blood as well! I flicked it out the car and that was that.

I checked myself thoroughly when I got home and luckily didn’t find any more. From now on, I’ll be using deet whenever I ride MUni! Seems weird that I’ve been riding MUni for over 4 years and this trail in particular more than 400 times, yet this is the first (and second) time I have ever found a tick on me. Oh well, I’m just glad I don’t live in Lyme territory! :o

That lyme disease

All the more reason to pull the tick off as soon as you find it. The longer it’s on you, the more chance an infected tick can give you lyme disease.

Definitely just pull those suckers out. Don’t be surprised if there is no blood. Ticks are low-to-no pain parasites. They are found by feeling for them. They don’t hurt when you have them, and they don’t hurt when you pull them off. No wound is left after you pull a tick off. Go on with your fine day.