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The ticks are here

Dear Duluthians,

I went to Jay Cooke for a (muddy) hike yesterday, and returned home to find a little tiny adult male deer tick upon my pant leg.
Let this be your first seasonal warning. Sorry, Paul, but I am still looking forward to your first tick-o-rama, as well.

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34 Comment(s)

  1. Good lord.

    Paul Lundgren | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  2. Good to know. Stay off the trails though, wait until they dry out! Keep em nice for the rest of the season!

    Loki | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  3. I’ve had 5! Ish! :(

    MJ | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  4. I can’t do it—I can’t stay off the trails. But I promise, I mostly stayed out of the mud and on the dry parts/rocks :-) And I’ve steered clear of Chester so far—which has been hard!

    Mel | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  5. Jay Cooke (and most of far-west Duluth) is insane for ticks.

    Once our dog darted into the brush and came out with a face and neck full of ticks.

    Another time, we were over in Magney-Snively Park (Spirit Mountain) and again, dog dashed off and came back COVERED in ticks. We couldn’t even remove them all, and were still finding them in the car three days later.

    jenny | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  6. Also, I may add that each time was in early April.

    jenny | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  7. Yet another reason to look forward to the Bull Run, perhaps better labeled “the Tick Run.”

    The Big E | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  8. I’m a little sad that I won’t be doing the Trail Run Series this year. I did a couple last fall, and enjoyed them a lot; until I sprained my ankle on the Spirit Mt run and was on crutches the next day. Now I’m too leery of hittin’ the trails :-(

    Mel | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  9. Deer ticks in general are out from March (or April) to November, can live 2-3 years, feed once a year and can bite and get you sick in the larvae, nymph and adult stages of their lives. Like other ticks you can find them mostly in the tall, dry grasses. They are most densely located along the MN/WI border south of the Twin Ports near the Twin Cities but are ranging farther every year.

    If you go outside (which I think everyone should do on a daily basis), just make sure you inspect every inch of your stuff: clothes, shoes, body, pets etc.

    woodtick | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  10. The fleas are out, too :(

    My cat graciously invited a few inside and they’ve been having a go at my ankles.

    Jenny | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  11. Hey Woodstock,
    You know of any effective Tick repellents? Any that dont have some sort of fancy DDT in them?

    Loki | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  12. Sorry, I meant Woodtick, not Woodstock! Must have been thinking of summer, music, warm weather…ticks.

    Loki | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  13. lyme disease sucks.


    and the number of lyme disease cases reported north of the cities (i.e., here and points north) has increased exponentially since i was diagnosed with it six years ago.

    zra | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  14. Deer ticks and Lyme Disease are very controversial. I have had/still have symptoms of Lyme Disease from a bite five years ago.. It is a very nasty disease and symptoms can last for years or forever (headaches, fever, dizziness, fatigue, arthritis, etc.). Sometimes you think you are going crazy. I have never had a serious disease in my life before this.

    It is difficult to diagnose (50% inaccuracy in testing), so be very careful because it is nearly impossible to get correct treatment and I can tell you from experience that the Drs. I have seen here in Duluth are not knowledgeable about the disease and the (one?) immunologist who is will not see you unless you have a positive test. So pretty much you are screwed and will have to figure out your own route of treatment.

    And there is only a bull’s eye rash 50% of the time too. This is really nothing to take lightly. And if we could eliminate the deer in city limits that would help keep them from dropping ticks in our yards who then attach to our pets and subsequently to us, tiny things that they are. I am not a medical dr, but if you get bitten some experts advise getting at least 8 wks of doxycycline to kill off the spirocheate--some experts say 10 wks.

    So using DEET seems like a small price to pay to me, I dose my boots and socks even when I am in my yard. Ticks have made being in the woods a lot less enjoyable for me.

    Now, I am not interested in a big debate on this, I just wanted to let you know my experience. There were many days when taking a shower was completely exhausting and I thought I would never have a life again. Fortunately, I feel better now, (I took 9 wks of doxycycline and still take Vitamin D) although there are still lingering symptoms. I am hyper-vigilant beginning as soon as the snow leaves.

    I am happy to give my email if anyone wants to contact me. sonjud2003 AT Yahoo dot com

    Jude | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  15. Oh, to complicate it further not all deer ticks carry Lyme.

    Jude | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  16. Jude, where did you pick yours up? I was hiking through the SHT just outside Gooseberry when I picked up a deer tick. sucker latched onto my side.

    According to my doc, at the time I went in for it, actually second and third guessed his diagnosis because he’d only rarely heard of lyme cases north of here. adding to that, it first presented like a spider bite with necrosis at the bite. I think I was on three different antibiotics before he prescribed the doxy.

    it presents differently from case to case and therefore is a difficult disease to diagnose without a definitive blood test, and the long term effects are still being studied. I personally deal with bouts of fatigue and joint pain…

    zra | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  17. Zra::: Isn’t it the pits to have that fatigue and joint pain? Glad you got on meds.

    My deer tick bite (there may have been others, ticks LOVE me) happened in springtime in Itasca Co when I hiked into a remote lake where the sun was shining on a south-facing hillside. It was glorious to feel that first sunshine and not thinking a thing about it I sat down to enjoy the sun--surrounded by deer poop, of course.. I got a bad bite on the back of my neck and did not even think about it as I am always allergic to any bug bite….but when I started getting these bizarre sicknesses, I finally traced things back to that day in April, by then it was two years later, then one more year before I got on meds after doing a lot of reading and having an Aaaaa Haaaa! moment and a run around from a few drs.

    Yes, lots of people are put on all kinds of meds that do not kill the nasty thing, cuz the docs say they rarely hear of LD, but as you know that is totally incorrect, they just are not schooled in the disease or the myriad of symptoms. And, perhaps, Lyme presents insurance nightmares similar to other long-term immunological diseases, thereby it is held at arm’s length by many in the med professions.

    I love the new health care directives that say the insurance companies cannot discriminate for a pre-existing condition—-otherwise lots of Lyme sufferers would be without insurance coverage.

    It seems ridiculous to me that we are not more educated about Lyme disease—my god look at all that H1N1 coverage….we need to be way more concerned about deer ticks and their devastating effects to us, IMHO.

    Jude | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  18. Jude | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  19. Jude | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  20. Ticks are obscene and now I have the heebie jeebies about being in my yard which is full of deer poop. Dang things have eaten all my lilac buds already too!

    Hope one day they have a human Lyme’s shot like the one I get for my dog each year.

    Piglet | Mar 31, 2010 | New Comment
  21. I too was hiking Monday 3/29 and got my first tick of the year. So not excited for this, but glad I already started the dog on preventative meds (she already has Lymes)!

    DawnMarie | Mar 31, 2010 | New Comment
  22. I came across a snake today on the Western Waterfront Trail. I don’t think I’ve seen a snake in March before.

    Paul Lundgren | Mar 31, 2010 | New Comment
  23. “Milder winters are projected to increase the range of deer tick populations by 68 percent in North America by later this century.”

    More fun facts in the National Wildlife Federation report: They Came From Climate Change (PDF file).

    Why the federation chose to style its report like some kind of joke is not clear to me, but … well, whatever.

    Paul Lundgren | Apr 2, 2010 | New Comment
  24. Just for posterity, the DNT article, too:

    Ticks AND poison ivy! No one is safe anymore!

    Mel | Apr 2, 2010 | New Comment
  25. I sometimes wonder if the DNT trolls PDD for topics to write about. It could easily be coincidence, but it seems like there are many times a story/topic will be written about here then a day or two latter it pops up in the DNT.

    edgeways | Apr 2, 2010 | New Comment
  26. Went for a run on the Lester Trails yesterday, and today I found a deer tick embedded in my leg. Damn.

    I did also see a butterfly, the first I’ve seen this year.

    bluenewt | Apr 3, 2010 | New Comment
  27. @ bluenewt: Fortunately, the sucker needs to have been on you for at least a day before lymes can be transmitted.

    Still, keep an eye on the bite site. If it starts to look infected or is warm to the touch, hit up the urgent care.

    zra | Apr 4, 2010 | New Comment
  28. @zra Thanks. For all I know, it was in my leg for 24 hours. I’m worried about anaplasma, another tick-borne illness, too. My dog had it year before last, as did a pal of mine. My friend was deathly ill. From what I’ve read, you can get sick with no signs of rash or swelling at the bite site, and it can take up to two months for symptoms to show. Fricking ticks.

    bluenewt | Apr 5, 2010 | New Comment
  29. To Bluenewt: What you say is true. There does not have to be a reaction at the site for the tick to have transmitted the disease. And the longer the spirochete lives in your bloodstream the harder it generally is to get rid of it. Many people have no symptoms for a long time (including me), that is why they are not treated for Lyme because they think they have the flu and subsequently get the wrong meds. All reasons for why it is so important to be your own advocate.

    Most docs, based on what you say (bite, saw tick, bring in tick) will give at least 2 weeks of doxycycline as a preventative measure. I printed out stuff from the MN Dept of Health and the CDC to being in (not that the doc was the least bit interested). F*^^^Ticks is right!!!

    Jude | Apr 5, 2010 | New Comment


    Press Release:

    The City of Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division is asking the public to refrain from using city hiking trails, snowmobile trails, cross country ski trails, the dog park and the disc golf course. Due to the annual spring thaw all these areas have become soft and are now vulnerable to being damaged with deep ruts and possible erosion.

    The public can help prevent damage by staying off these areas until warmer temperatures and drier weather improve conditions. A notice regarding the reopening of the trails, dog park and disc golf course will be provided as soon as conditions permit.

    Trails that are open to the public at this time are the Lakewalk, the Munger Trail and the Western Waterfront Trail. In addition, the far eastern part of Skyline Parkway near Hawks Ridge is also a good place to walk as well as the far western end of Skyline Parkway, west of Spirit Mountain. These portions of Skyline are still closed to vehicular traffic

    Hillsider Newspaper editor | Apr 5, 2010 | New Comment
  31. I went to St. Croix State Park yesterday, and walked down to a canoe landing. I noticed a sign had been vandalized or torn off by the spring flood so I walked about 50 feet into wet grass to retrieve it. Took about 30 seconds. 10 ticks on my jeans. Oogie!

    -Berv | Apr 5, 2010 | New Comment
  32. Jude was right. My doctor offered preventive doxycycline. But I read up on it, and it seems to me that experts advise using doxycycline preventively only in a very narrow range of tick-bite cases, and mine didn’t fall in that range (tick was not attached for at least 36 hours). So, in a one-person attempt to combat overuse of antibiotics, I’m just saying no. Am I crazy?

    bluenewt | Apr 6, 2010 | New Comment
  33. I’ve found my first two ticks of the year — both deer ticks. Mel beat me by over two weeks, but it’s a competition I’ll gladly lose every year.

    I was hiking in Piedmont just northeast of Haines Road. I must say it’s amazing what Cyclists of the Gitchee Gumee Shores have done there. New trails are springing up all over.

    The downside is, if you don’t check yourself for ticks before you get home, you’ll feel one crawling up your neck five hours later.

    I’m sure there are more to come. They’re probably camped out in my shoelaces right now.

    Oh, and an update to the city news releases above: Trails are open now.

    Paul Lundgren | Apr 16, 2010 | New Comment
  34. My fence goes up next week to prevent the deer from having their daily meetings in my yard. I don’t give a rip how cute those fawns are, they are not welcome here.

    With all these reports of thick ticks sad to say I have yet to venture onto a trail in the woods this spring. Just not worth the gamble for me.

    And I have never been able to figure out what place ticks have in the ecosystem except that a few birds munch them…does anyone know if they have even one redeeming quality?

    One spring our family went camping and the kids went into the woods to gather sticks for hot dogs. That night our 10 year old daughter kept saying, “Dad, there’s another one.” We lost count after we took 22 ticks off of her. By morning she was totally having panic attacks, and her whole body felt like it was crawling. Well, we all felt that way, come to think of it. Of course, the dog had been with the kids and then slept with our daughter. It was like some Hitchcock movie, just horrible. As soon as it was light enough we packed up and left that campground. Eeeeks, I hate ticks.

    Jude | Apr 16, 2010 | New Comment

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