Beware: It’s Tick Season Here in Connecticut
I'm a novice when it comes to ticks, at best, a tick rookie. I've been bitten once, it was a long time ago in the 70's, I was 8, and I remember seeing it on the tweezers after my mom had removed it from the back of my head. It was so gross, it was full of my blood. Fast forward 40-some-odd years later, and my second encounter with a tick just happened. I found one recently on my Chihuahua RayRay, and I freaked out.
Seriously, 43 years between tick encounters is pretty good, right? Well, stupid me, I took my little guy out for a walk, unprotected, against the blood suckers, and my lack of prep has now exposed him, and myself, to a dreaded Connecticut Original tick-borne illness, Lyme Disease. First discovered in Lyme, Connecticut in 1985, according to the CDC, over 20,000 new Lyme disease cases are diagnosed in the US each year. It was all I thought about as I discovered that dreaded small lump behind my Chihuahua's left ear.
So, I did what anyone else would do, I Googled "Removing Ticks, Lyme Disease, Dogs, Connecticut", and I came across a very useful website from an organization based in Ridgefield called Lyme Connection. They're a community-based non-profit, founded and run by people who have been affected by Lyme Disease. Their website has a very informative section for pet owners who are novices at tick removal, like me. You can access that section by clicking HERE. Using the information that Lyme Connection posted, I removed the tick from the back of RayRay's head, and burned that little critter with a lighter.
The tick population is soaring this year in Connecticut, be sure to check your pets, and yourself if you've been walking through long grass, near woodland edges, or shady areas in high humidity. As you can see from the above photos, they're very small, and can go unnoticed until it's too late.
A Visual Guide to the Snakes of Connecticut