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280 days of Urbpandemonium #50

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My coworker Jason flagged me down. He had an unhappy expression on his face and a piece of paper in his hand. On the paper was not words, but a female Dermacentor variablis*, what we usually call a dog tick or a wood tick. "Picked this off of me," he said grimly. I got excited about having a specimen to photograph, so much so I almost forgot to say what we always do when this happens, "At least it wasn't a deer tick."

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Sure, dog ticks spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and tularemia, but when was the last time you heard of someone catching one of those? But I can't think of a single New Englander I know who doesn't have a friend or family member who has experienced Lyme disease, or had it themselves. I almost feel warmly toward Dermacentor ticks, on account of how much loathing their smaller cousins the Ixodes** ticks inspire.

* "Variable skin-pricker."

**Greek ixos(ιξος)- "birdlime" (a sticky substance put on places where birds perched in order to trap them) + -odes (-ωδης)- a variant of -oides(οιδης)- "like, resembling" (only seen as an ending).

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morgi
May. 31st, 2015 02:16 am (UTC)
I saw my first dog tick Thursday night, when it turned up on Charles' shirt after he'd been painting the bathroom at the shop. (I don't know why it didn't show up the weekend earlier, when he'd been cleaning up the abandoned property next door.)
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