When I was a child, ticks were mere annoyances. They were ever so nicer than mosquitoes. We would pluck them off, or out, with little concern. While the adults had cocktails, the children would gather the dogs for their nightly rummage. Ticks were dropped in glasses of soap detergent. (I had one in my ear once which wasn’t fun, but no one dreamt that Rocky Mountain Fever was a real possibility.)
One of my true pleasures in life is walking the paths and beaches of Chappaquiddick Island. My family bought a house there in 1953. When people talk of ‘a sense of place’ I know what they mean.
Now, Ticks have become more than an annoyance. They are smaller and fiercer than their predecessors. They carry life altering diseases. Before I walk, I spray myself with toxic fumes. The mosquitoes always manage to find the one vulnerable spot, so I have no doubt the ticks will as well. Last year and again this year, I have random, itchy, fluid filled bites all over my legs. Last year I saw a doctor who was unable to identify them. This year, I went to the local chat site and found I was not alone. Others had been bit.
Some believe them to be tick larvae bites. ( Chappaquiddick has an explosion of tiny lone star ticks.) Someone thought the bites were from chiggers which was oddly more comforting than tick larvae bites. Someone else posited that we don’t have chiggers on Chappy. All of the afflicted hope that larvae bites don’t spread the disease. I mean, what are the odds?