Who Needs Vampires? We Have Ticks.

When I was little, my cousins used to terrify me with tales of the bloodsuckers who fed on me when I went to sleep at night.

No, not vampires. Spiders and ticks. Especially ticks.

According to them, a tick wouldn’t be satisfied with taking a big juicy gulp of Amber blood. Nope. The reason a tick swells up when she drinks, they said, is because she’s using all that blood to make millions of eggs.

And then? Well, then she regurgitates the eggs back into the bite and leaves them to bake under her victim’s skin.

The victim, of course, has no idea. She just thinks she has an especially bothersome mosquito bite.

But as the eggs grow, the bump on the victim’s skin grows bigger and bigger and bigger and BIGGER. And eventually? The baby ticks hatch, bursting from the eggs to crawl around under her skin and eat her alive—from the inside out.

This cousin, he actually insisted he’d seen it happen. Seen the little tick-lings roiling around under someone’s skin, biting and sucking and devouring her.

I think I was all of seven when he told me this story. I couldn’t sleep for weeks. I’d lay wide awake in the dark, every nerve on alert for the feel of little pincers biting down. Sometimes I’d drift off, but then I’d jolt awake, certain I felt something chomping me.

Eventually, of course, I got over it and went back to sleeping. But the fear of ticks? Never really faded.

So when I discovered a tick on my dog’s ear this morning? I freaked the hell out. Not so much because my dog had a tick, but because said tick could come loose and re-attach herself to me. And I? Really didn’t want to be a tick’s baby mama.*

Being the independent woman I am, I called my husband to ask what I should do. Unfortunately, he insisted that I really needed to get it off of him. Otherwise, said tick would fall off and be left to wander freely around our house.

No, thank you.

Sadly, the tweezers were missing.

And the dish soap trick the Internet insisted would work? Well, it kind of did. The little bugger let go for about five seconds. But soap makes things slippery, and therefore hard to hang on to. So by the time I got my wad of toilet paper around the tick’s back and pulled (what, you thought I was going to touch it with my bare hands? I don’t think so), it had re-attached itself.

After attempting to smother it with Vaseline, pouring salt on it (it works with leeches) and even trying to dig it out with a pen, the dog was growling and I was in tears.

And on the phone with my hub again.

This time? He agreed to come home and take care of it himself.

Which he did. In about 30 seconds. With a pair of needle nose pliers.

Proving once again that the hubster is, in fact, a super hero in disguise.

And my male relatives? Owe me for a few therapy sessions.

*Yes, I know that’s not really how it works. But I wasn’t feeling especially rational.

20 Comments on Who Needs Vampires? We Have Ticks.

  1. Rolls his eyes
    June 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm (6 years ago)

    FYI: They were not just normal needle-nose pliers, but one that is about the same width as a pair of tweezers.

    Reply
    • amber
      June 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm (6 years ago)

      Details, my dear. Details. No one cares.

      Reply
  2. Katie Lane
    June 25, 2010 at 8:48 pm (6 years ago)

    Your new design looks great.

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, lady. I appreciate that, coming from you.

      Reply
  3. Tricia
    June 26, 2010 at 1:56 am (6 years ago)

    Okay, I am deathly afraid of those God-forsaken, evil, nasty little bastards. And when I found one, slyly hiding itself in my little man’s hair, I almost passed out cold. Thank the good Lord I found it when I did: it hadn’t even bitten into his precious skin yet. I burned that bastard tick faster than you could say “blood”….and enjoyed every second of it….

    I’ve missed reading your blog and tweeting with you! It’s so good to be back in the world of social media :)

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm (6 years ago)

      And I’m glad you’re back! Yay! I didn’t think about burning it….next time, there will be flame.

      Reply
  4. Gina
    June 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh.My.God. I swear that’s me. Anything that can attach itself to you and borrow inside freaks me the hell out! When I saw this post I about died. As a little girl I WAS afraid of vampires and used to sleep EVERY night with the covers up to my neck. This made for quite an uncomfortable situation when it was eighty-five degrees, but I didn’t care. As if the blanket would be enough of a shield to keep the vampires from my neck. I would lay awake for hours on end, my mind churning and creating different horrific scenarios. Maybe that’s why I turned out to be a writer. I did this until I was about twenty-six years old!

    Thanks for the post. Visiting from LBS tea party.

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm (6 years ago)

      I’m still a little afraid of vampires. Don’t tell.

      Reply
  5. Nicole Abdou
    June 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm (6 years ago)

    Hilarious! Stopping by from the Tea Party! Got a new follower! Love your writing. PS – Ticks freak me out!

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm (6 years ago)

      I think ticks freak everyone out. That’s what I’m learning from this post.

      Reply
  6. Juliana
    June 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm (6 years ago)

    Too funny. I used to live in the south as a kid and this would happen to our poor dog once in a while. I tried salt too – lol.

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm (6 years ago)

      It seems like it should work, right? I mean, a blood sucker is a blood sucker is a blood sucker.

      Reply
  7. AmyBlam
    June 27, 2010 at 11:15 pm (6 years ago)

    I think I’m traumatized. And now have a fear of ticks.
    But the site looks fab!

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm (6 years ago)

      Happy to have been of service. A fear shared is better than one held alone, right?

      Reply
  8. one cluttered brain
    June 28, 2010 at 1:07 am (6 years ago)

    i HATE ticks!!!
    I’m glad you were able to get him out needle nosed pliers of tweezers or WHATEVER you used.
    Thank goodness.
    The world can’t possibly lose such an AWESOME blog writer to a dumb old tick!!!

    :)

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm (6 years ago)

      Stupid ticks. The world would be better without them.

      Reply
  9. Minky {moo}
    June 28, 2010 at 3:53 am (6 years ago)

    Last year my puppy bear had a ton of them! I kept finding them and finding them and freaking the hell out! At one point we were on a van trip to Ohio and he was sleeping in my lap and I felt something…yup. And nothing could be done til we got there.
    Word of advice:do not google ticks. There are images you will never get out of your brain.

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm (6 years ago)

      Argh! That would have been a loooong trip. But I already did google it. Unfortunately. Traumatizing, it was!

      Reply
  10. Rob
    June 30, 2010 at 11:43 am (6 years ago)

    That HAD to be the other side of the family. Say it was the other side. Lie of you have to.

    Reply
    • Amber
      June 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm (6 years ago)

      Yep. It actually was the other side of the family. Not even lying!

      Reply

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