Cathy and I were chatting on the phone when the outside door opened and a man hollered in.

“You here!?” Or maybe it was “HELP!”

While out walking I’d seen him along the fence line with a chainsaw, so I jumped up and ran. Maybe he’d cut off his arm or something.

But no, he was doing the rumpelstiltskin out on the step because he was covered with wood ticks. He tore off his clothes and we must’ve picked off at least 30 of the insects, many from his back beneath the shirt, and more off the clothes themselves. I even found one crawling on my neck after that.

Has anyone got a bedroom for me, far from here, for the months of May and June? I’d miss the spring frogs and the abundance of wild birds, but I’ve just about had it with these ticks. There’s no doubt that the lotions and essential oil mixtures I use make a huge difference, but there appears to be nothing that’s 100%.

For Scott, often working in long grasses as he does, I’ve mentioned your permethrin spray repellent for his clothing, Maggie, because he doesn’t take the time to lotion-up. I’ll look for the recipe on your blog because you mixed it with something before applying it to clothes, didn’t you?

As it is, I go about with my pants tucked into my socks and my shirt tucked into my pants, and hope to hell I’ll feel the little bastards when they get to my neck and hairline and before they tuck in for a meal. This sucks on those sweltering days when you want to wear your skimpy summer clothing and as little of that as possible.


Almost making the tick horrors worth putting up with is the pair of Baltimore orioles making a home in our yard this year.  The female is daily seen pulling at yarn hanging on the trellises (for tying tall plants up), so she must be building a nest, and her colourful partner was perched on the edge of the bird bath this morning.

The soras have returned but haven’t been heard in the dugout behind the house; instead they call from a distance. A set of Canada geese visits the dugout several times a day, and of course there are the pairs of mud hens (American coots) and blue-winged teal and northern shovelers and goldeneyes. A small army of red-winged blackbirds are alight on the tops of last year’s dried cattails, trilling all day. Add to that chorus the chirping of the goldfinches and the song sparrows and the chickadees and the robins and the woodpeckers, and it’s a noisy place we live in.

I’ve yet to see the wrens that are usually in the oak trees. Maybe they’re giving us a miss this year.

Oh, and Peaches (the white cat with blue eyes) was skinny and her back end and legs were a bloody mess when I went to the barn yesterday. She was fat the day before, so obviously she’s had her kittens. For the first time ever, she came to the feeding bowl and ate, not six inches from where I was crouched petting the cats that like human attention.


New at the recipe blog; I made them for lunch yesterday:

Rice and Cheese Croquettes:



5 thoughts on “Monday: ATTACK OF THE WOOD TICKS

  1. Kate, yikes! I bought a litre of 10% solution permethrin. To spray my clothes I mix 4 cups water with 1 teaspoon of permethrin, then spray to soak and dry, this will wash well at least a few times. I usually to outer clothing, and have a very light summer shirt to go over my clothes in the hot weather. I got the permethrin from the equine shop somewhere in the states through, not available in Canada that I could find. Not perfect, but this stuff works.

    As for the little critters getting in your clothes, at the ankles and wrists I use thin head bands, from the dollar store, the elasticized ones, folded over to tightly secure the bottom of my pants and the ends of my sleeves, nothing has gotten in so far. One other thing I am planning on doing with our treated “big shirts” is to sew shut the cuff openings, how the bugs find these I don’t know, but they do!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll add too Kate, I wear long sleeves, long pants, a washable hat, disposable gloves, and a breathing mask when I handle permethrin. As a liquid it is nasty stuff, but once it dries it is inert, and so very safe for contact with the skin. I also do not spray this stuff on windy days, but I guess if you have a barn or enclosed yet ventilated space, you could do it in there. Caution is required with this stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Igh! My place is far, far from you and you’d be welcome, but we have more than our share of creepy crawlies. There are a pair of possum who forage in our yards at night and when I read they can eat 4000 ticks a day, I was grateful to them.

    Liked by 1 person

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