Thursday, January 13, 2011


Today was my first encounter (that I know about) with a tick. If they've gotten me before, I never noticed them.

Hiked in Rubio Canyon. Won't have time to do the writeup until either late tonight or tomorrow.

I was doing some bushwacking, and at one point noticed one of them on my shirt. I think he was trying to stick his mouth through my shirt because it took a little bit of a flick to get him off. Or it could be he just had grippy feet.

A bit later, I noticed some discomfort on my right thigh. I raised the leg of my shorts a bit higher, and. . . YUCK!

My first reaction was to try to yank him out with my fingers. Didn't work.

My second reaction was to go to my doctor. Office was closed early today. Grrrrrr!

My third reaction was use the tweasers in my Swiss army knife (the only tweasers in the house) to remove him. Yank, yank, yank. No joy. Man, those guys have strong mouths!

So then I went on the Internet and read the collective wisdom of the planet. The consensus was to use a curved tweaser and apply several minutes of continuous pulling. No jerking. No twisting.

The Swiss army knife tweasers aren't exactly the best grasping tool, but I tried the Internet's advice. And after several slips, I finally succeeded in pulling him out. Tossed him in an empty prescription bottle. That's a picture of him from below, taken through the bottle. It's a little fuzzy because the bottle is not entirely transparent.

Anyway, at least I got the thing out of my leg. Hopefully, there will be no health impacts. I should probably see a doctor and take the tick in for identification purposes.


  1. Holding a match to them has always got them to release for me.

  2. Yeah, but I didn't want to give myself second degree burns in the process. :D

    I'm trying to decide if I should see a doctor or just accept that thousands of people get bitten by ticks every year, and usually nothing horrible happens. I do have a bit of a bullseye on my thigh now, however. No rash, but still. . . .

  3. Hard to tell in the picture but it looks like a Pacific Coast Tick to me. Lyme disease is only transferred to Californians from the western black-legged tick. Good thing you've still got it so you can compare it to online images.

  4. I just freaking lost it. It's dead, so it's not going anywhere. But I was trying to look at it on the cap of the bottle. I tried to flip it over and it fell out and on to my computer. I think it's inside the keyboard, now. Gotta try shaking it to see if I can get it out. I can't believe my luck, sometimes.

  5. Found it. :D

    It's been dead for several days, but I didn't want to lose it in case it needs to be tested.

    I got worried because the markings on the top seemed similar to the black legged tick. However, the body looks less elongated than the black legged tick. In any event, I think I will try to see a doctor next week for them to take a look at me. Probably over-reacting, but my COBRA-subsidized health coverage expires at the end of the month.