The warm weather is only a couple days away .... and the ticks are on the move.
Yes, at last the buds will open on the pear tree and the leaves will unfurl on the maple. I have been very busy this week, little time to post. But I did want to mention Lyme disease, now that folks will be getting out and walking in the woods. Contrary to what some people might have thought, the fact that Cape Cod was carpetted with snow for many months, and the temps were lower than usual, the harsh winter did not result in a tick die-off. In fact the ticks were safe and warm, protected from ice by the layer of snow. Now they are out, looking for a meal.
Last week a Wellfleet landscaper got bitten behind her knee, producing multiple entries on her Facebook page from Wellfleetians who have already had Lyme, or know someone with Lyme, offering advice. I was bitten last week, too, although I happened to see the tick as soon as it bit me and hopefully removed it in a timely fashion. What is incredible is the tick was not deterred by the organic sprays I had applied, so from now on I will also apply DEET to my shoes if I work in the garden.
Last fall Amy Tan wrote an eyeopening article about her battle with Lyme. Please do read it to understand the stakes.
Ticks can carry multiple diseases, too. Recently the health authorities reported a new threat to life, carried by ticks in Massachusetts. Read about it here.
As an innkeeper, I always warn guests about the risk of tick bites. This plague needs to be taken seriously. The Pure folks came Monday and sprayed the property with peppermint oil. I have also thought of getting chickens or guinea hens, as they will eat ticks. The only place I feel safe is the beach.
Do you worry about Lyme disease?