New tick menace has the potential to spread terrifying viruses


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/09/new-tick-menace-has-the-potent.html


#2

Yay, one more thing to die from. :no_mouth:


#3

At the start of the summer I soaked a bunch of my clothes in permethrin, and it really seems to have done a good job keeping critters off me.


#4

Crap.

Lyme disease is bad enough. I visited NY State with my dog in June, and despite applying a tick repellant on her ended up picking off three or four ticks. I’ve been feeling her joints for signs of lyme disease (swelling).


#5

Maybe not the Lyme ticks? I heard those are deer ticks, AND that they’re so small you almost can’t see them.

Sounds like you were dealing with just regular ticks (which we just call ticks where I’m from).


#6

Yes, although they do grow through the season. Around here, they’re teeny-tiny in April, pinhead-sized in May, easy to see AND obviously prevalent in June, and full-sized now.

I’ve had six bites so far this year and I’m really not happy about that. One of those was a lone star, the red-meat (alpha galactose) allergy one. Very concerning.

In June a couple years back I went for a walk across a field of sternum-high grass and came back with six on me, a couple biting. One I didn’t find until the next morning, when I was sitting in front of my device and felt something walking across my eyelid. Where had it been all night?

This is really messing with the way I see a big green space. Two years ago I’d look at a field and say isn’t that beautiful, wouldn’t it be great to just tromp across that, just load and go. Now I look at it and think of all the ticks. As someone who’s spent serious time outdoors, who feels like time in civilization is just visiting, like his heart lies beating in a mossy stone cradle in a green grotto even when the body is elsewhere, this is very constraining.


#7

Just stepping foot in the paddock, the owner and health investigators were inundated with thirsty ticks that instantly began clawing up their pant legs. DNA analysis ultimately determined that the ticks were H. longicornis . Investigators found only one male out of 1,058 ticks collected.

Flamethrower time; definitely flamethrower time.


#8

A medieval plague borne by a swarm of pests? the 20-teens really just are determined to send us down multiple vectors to the next dark ages…


#9

Females drop up to 2,000 eggs over the course of two or three weeks, quickly giving rise to a ravenous army of clones.

Good tag line for a movie.


#10

Reproduce asexually, eh?


#11

Came here to say the same thing. Let’s make a high-pressure flame throwing autonomous robot.


#12

This makes me wanna get an armoured hazmat suit and live in a clean room.
Wow.


#13

I grew up in tick country and get bit a few times a year. I don’t like the little bastards but fuck it, they’re parasites, it’s their job. Somehow I’d rather live in a world full of them than the elected parasites that regularly take a bite out of my ass.


#14

Apparently there’s no such thing as “regular ticks” any more.


#15

You know, as an epidemiologist I sometimes play “let’s pretend” with myself and try and imagine a world where humans had exactly six causes of death… it’d be a really different kind of reality than the one we occupy. :slight_smile:

Also: more or less all social-ecological changes bring new diseases and ways to die (or new ways of dying of old diseases), but also: old diseases sometimes diminish, and even disappear entirely.

And now I am appreciating why I am an epidemiologist. :smiley:


#16

Oh, that’s just a Tuesday.


#17

But hey, look on the bright side!


#18

Encourage possums to live near you. Ugly little bastards, but with weird metabolism; they have a low body temperature which makes them a lot less susceptible to a wide range of diseases (like rabies, altho they will foam at the mouth just to scare off predators). Possums groom regularly and thus can kill off a significant portion of the ticks that live in their area. Also, possums won’t bother you. They are pretty shy.


#19

That reminds me, I have to put out fresh tick-tubes.


#20

More like Ars Tick-nica, amiright?
…OK, I’ll leave…