Turf Blog 13-08-22

Just a short blog today following a nice walk around Dalhousie Castle in the cool hours around Silly O’clock. It was as much a walk to experience the wildlife as taking a few zones and I was not disappointed with the number of owls calling, both Tawny owl, and Barn owl. What I wasn’t quite expecting was the quantity of dangerous wildlife I collected along the way. I’m referring to the tick, and no, not that daft comic book superhero series on Amazon Prime. No, those blood sucking little blighters. Yes, you know the ones I’m on about.

I picked up one adult tick on my leg, which was easy enough to both see and remove out in the field, even without special tick removal aids. It had not bitten into me yet and was easy to flick off. It was later at home when I started itching in places that I realised it had not been alone. I had other unwelcome visitors on me. I found and removed a grand total of four, three on my legs and one little bastard in my armpit, of all places. Though they could have been in more, shall we say, personal areas. The four ticks I removed were all in the nymph stage, and they are absolutely tiny, smaller than a poppy seed or the full stop on a page of a paperback book.

My technique for removing them is to grip them carefully with flat nosed tweezers, right behind the head against the skin and gently pull them out. It’s important to get all the tick removed. And here’s a very useful tip I’ve developed. Handling something smaller than a millimetre across is challenging. What I do is have a small piece of Sellotape ready and dab that over the tick after it’s been removed and fold the Sellotape over. This way there is less likelihood of you drooping the tick and it reacquiring you again later. You can also start a collection to show your friends and family, should you feel so inclined. Good for producing at dinner parties. You might need a magnifying glass.

One thing I’ve found about these ticks at the tiny <1.00 mm nymph stage, is that they are difficult to see and it’s only when you start itching that it becomes apparent you have some passengers. So, pay heed when parts of you starts to itch, it’s quite a distinctive itch you will recognise after being bitten a few times. Look carefully for a wee black dot and always dab some antiseptic on as soon as you can. I prefer TCP as it will flow well into any wound and hopefully terminate with extreme prejudice anything harmful lurking there.

Fast forward a few hours and I’ve added another two of the little blighters to the tally above, bringing the total to seven. So, take care when turfing the zones at and around Dalhousie Castle Hotel. Itchy, itchy. That’s all for now folks. Itchy, itchy, scratchy. Catch you later. Itchy, itchy, scratchy, scratch. Arrgh!

P.S. The above image is not, I repeat not, a tick, thank goodness. It’s a feathered dinosaur from the Tyrannosaur exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland back in May 2020.

Copyright ©2022 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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