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.

Onward!