Tick, tick, tick … TICK

It was only a matter of time before the NSW Health Dept covertly set us up as a human petrie dish of infectious diseases to see just how long some ills would kick on while others would just up and mutate themselves to oblivion. On Sunday Felix informed me that he had this ‘weird rash‘. Now if they aren’t two words a parent just loves to hear.

Sure enough, on his left leg, the good leg, the non-gashed leg, the one without the staples there is a plethora (a gang?, a mob?, a menagerie?) of bites which his body is angrily reacting to by developing a whopping great welt running from his groin to his hip. Awesome. A trip to the chemist and $50 later I’m doping him up, soaking him down and smothering him in creams all the while wondering what the hell it was. Ticks? No, they like to burrow into your flesh. Sand flies? Would make sense if we’d been at the beach, which we hadn’t because of the last freakin’ incident.   Some sort of mite? OH.DEAR.GOD.

I’d already been rabidly systematically trying to cleanse the house of every shred of evidence of the previous six weeks of holiday hell but now, NOW the world was going to smite me with some sort of bug? Body lice? SCABIES? SERENITY.NOW!

On Monday I had the same sort of bites in the same sort of area and was seriously considering some sort of commercial grade highly toxic make-my-children-sterile cleaner to rid us of this horror. Oscar had three bites on him and I was terrified the hospital would see them and quarantine us. Actually, come to think of it, that would have been quite lovely. Anyway, Jasper had a couple of marks on his face which suspiciously looked similar but had nowhere near the angriness in them or raised nature. I was thinking his were more likely to be mozzie bites, of which we have experienced PLAGUE-LIKE proportions this year as well. Grover seemed to have escaped this ignominy and Chef was oh-so-smugly bite free. Apparently because he washes.

Then yesterday morning Grover and I were up quite early and were just mooching around together when I noticed two tiny black dots on his face and one one his neck. I knew instantly that they were ticks even though every other tick I’ve ever had to pull off the boys has been a more greyish-pink colour and certainly not three of them and certainly not so small.

Then I looked at me and lo, it came to pass, I had was is technically called an ‘infestation’. Did you just gag then? Yes. I too have a sensitive gag reflex. So you try looking down and seeing your upper thigh covered in tiny black dots which are a tiny little ugly creature sucking your blood. UNFOLLOW.

All told I have about 30 bites on me and pulled about 16 ticks off me yesterday. Jasper had a big one which had lodged just at his hairline (where I normally associate ticks with) and I found another couple on Felix.

Ticks do not have great mobility so it stands to reason that Felix and I were the main targets due to our proximity in terms of dealing with his allergic reaction to them and the whole other knee needing dressing changes etc and that I am physically affectionate (I KNOW!) towards my children. Jasper and Grover were the next in line due to the amount of time they spend attached to my hip, leg, lap, being, soul. I’m surprised Oscar didn’t get more because he’s always all over me like a rash and well, the fact Chef has not had one probably says alot about the amount of lovin’ or lack thereof going on in this house at the moment.

Now while I have you all recoiling from your computer screens, the northern beaches of Sydney are notorious for ticks, particularly once you go passed the Bilgola Bends. Sure, Avalon has a delightful community atmosphere but it is Tick Central.

We are suspecting that Felix probably picked them up at cricket training last Thursday or even at cricket on Saturday morning and then the rest of the events unfolded from there.

The ticks we had are commonly referred to as grass ticks and having a multitude of them on you is not uncommon. Mum, as a child, once had 168 on her from a day spent rolling down a hill. Probably on her way home from school walking those six miles in bare feet through the snow.

They are in fact not grass ticks but the very early stages of a tick in its maturity. Isn’t this interesting.

Regardless, the lawn is now cut to within an inch of it’s life, everyone is sleeping in newly-washed bedding, my vacuuming fetish has returned with heightened zeal, the guinea pigs have been washed and vindicated as the culprits and I may just fall down in a heap one of these days and watch some midday television if the planets align. Or some such.


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  • Jodie

    What fresh hell is this?
    Ticks are nasty beasties!

  • BabelBabe

    that'll teach you to be nice to your children.

    It didn't make ME want to unfollow. It's nice to know we are not the only ones the plagues descend upon. How's that worm infestation going?

  • samantha

    I'm not going stop reading either. Who else could I rely on for this fascinating information?! 

  • kurrabikid

    What next, huh?!!

  • kim at allconsuming

    God Babs, I'd completely forgotten about the worms. They seem to have abated for the time being.

    And that's much better! You should all know by now that I am shallow and needy and require constant affirmations of love and devotion.

  • Anonymous

    i just gotta fess-up

    reading your blog is my guilty pleasure

    i might think i am having a shitty day but then i read about yours and suddenly bluebirds of happiness are floating around my head and i am in my happy place

    all thanks to you

    sending warm and fuzzy thoughts your way

    word verification "clattic"

  • Eleanor

    Something's wrong with my bloody blogreader and I realised just now I haven't read your blog in a week, now I rush over and find this.


    I can make you feel better.

    When Y was 5 and B was 2 I noticed one day that there were a few tiny tiny crawling "ants" near the door to the attic. I asked Mr C to look into it, he said "It's nothing." A week later, I get a call from the childcare centre saying that B has a strange rash, must pick him up immediately.

    Bring him home to find that I too have itchy rash. That evening we are all itching, I ask Mr. C to double check the attic door. "It's nothing". Wake up next morning in itchy rash hell. Go to look at attic door myself, a HUGE MASS of crawling insects exiting attic and circulating around entire house. Rush to doctor. Doctor recoils in horror – "Do you own a bird?" no. "Is it possible a bird may have died near your home."

    Drive home, dead calm outside, seething rage inside. Check attic. Dead bird, tick. Bird lice, tick. Exterminator, tick.

    Exterminator says he has never seen an infestation quite this bad before in his entire professional experience.

    Now I'm itching like mad.

    But I bet you feel much much better.

    Love ya xxxxxxxxx

    Ok, ok, just in case you still don't feel absolutely 100% better I'll be absolutely honest with you. Whispering now "I even had them in my p.b.c h..r".

  • jac

    OK, I second Eleanor, your feed hasn't updated since The Australia Day Excitement. Glad to see it's not just me (although it usually is).

    There aren't ticks in Melbourne, thank god. If there are, please don't tell me about it because I DON'T WANT TO KNOW. I mean, I'm compulsively scratching now… that's just psychosomatic, right?

  • Frogdancer

    God I'm glad I live in Melbourne.

    …why do I feel itchy all of a sudden…?

  • peskypixies

    ewwwwwwwwwwwww nasty…….you poor things.