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Take the Wood Tick Challenge


Head out of Duluth on Highway 23 and park at Veteran's Memorial Overlook (just past Mont du Lac). Walk back toward Duluth a few hundred feet and head into the woods at the spot in this photo. Walk for five minutes, then count the ticks you have on you.

I've only hiked here twice. The first time was in 1997, and is referenced in a post on The Product. Barrett claimed I had "something like 23 ticks after we returned from an afternoon hike." The number I remember is 17 (which includes the two I didn't find until I got home and removed my underwear).

Today, in less than five minutes, I gathered up 12 ticks before turning around and going home.

I guess I had that coming after I put a curse on Madeline Island on Thursday.


That's nothing. Back when I was in high school I took a hike between Forest Lake and Scandia. It was perhaps an hour. I had 133 ticks. After getting them all off and flushing them away, I had to sit down and deal with my dog.

Ah, man. I just stopped at this overlook on my way back from the cities like a 1/2 hour ago! I would have TOTALLY taken this challenge! Damn!

Is this the spot where the NMTC Bull Run starts?


Because that place is tickiferous.

Big E, yeah, it looks like the same spot.

AN UPDATE: I found tick #13 crawling out of my boot about an hour after posting. Ten minutes after that I took a shower and found #14. About five hours later I got out of bed to remove #15.

When I was in junior high, my 4-H club went out one spring to do one of those "adopt-a-highway" litter clean-ups. One of my friends apparently stepped into a nest of ticks somewhere along the road, because he found about 50 of them crawling all over inside his boots/pants when he got home. *shudder*

133, though--damn.

i just pulled my very first deer tick offa me on Vermillion Rd. i'm awaiting the bullseye rash with bated breath. how exciting!

After removing #15, then comes 'phantom tick' hyper-awareness. If you share a bed, be aware your honorable vigilance may be mistaken for plain vanilla lunacy.

This leads me to a question. I got my first tick of the year recently, and without thinking I started the same ritual I've done my whole life. I put together a little burning station and torched the bastard. I've realized that I don't do this because it's convenient. I do it because it's the only way that I know for sure the thing
has been destroyed for good. If I thought driving a stake through its heart was the only way to get the job done, I'd have a collection of little sharpened tooth picks ready for the occasion. I know some people flush them, but I've seen how long they can live under water and can't sleep at night knowing that the thing is starting the trek from the WLSSD plant to get its revenge.

My question is, am I the only one?

When my dad gets a tick, he sticks it to a piece of tape and folds the tape over on itself, trapping the tick inside. That way, if he gets a weird bite mark or anything suspicious pops up a few days later, he's got the tick to show to the doctor.

Burning them is more satisfying, though.

Mary: How long does he keep them?

I have a question that maybe the incredible brain pool of PDD can answer. I live in Lincoln Park and have a big back yard with lots of vegetation and trees.
In the 3 years we have lived here, I can count the number of ticks i have found on one hand. We garden and spend lots of time in our yard and have a Dog. Why are we tick-less?
Just to rule out another possibility we use only organics in our living space.


I picture a vault with about 750 ticks, all taped and cataloged by date and region bitten. Am I far off?

definitely burn them. and then i usually flush them. sometimes they seem to come back to life even after scorching. i shouldn't have read this because now i'm feeling phantom ticks everywhere. i quit counting about a month ago. too many ticks!!!

Oh my god, Roger... I was going to post essentially the same thing. I have to burn them, because once, when I was younger, I found one crawling up the toilet bowl and was forever scarred.

Another random story... One time when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I camped out in a tent in my grandma's back yard, with my super awesome dinosaur sleeping bag... When I got home, we left the sleeping bag rolled up in the closet for a couple days. One night, I decided I wanted my super-cool-dinosaur-sleeping-bag in my bed with me, so I went and got it, and unrolled it to reveal what looked like several hundred woodticks crawling around like little madmen. My mom's terrified screams still echo in my mind, and my only explanation is that somehow a woodtick gave birth inside my sleeping bag while it was in my closet. I will always miss my sleeping bag, but it got burned. Also, I'm terrified of woodticks.

I remember when I was a youngin back in the early 90's when mullets were in. My aunt goes to me "Look at all this hair. I bet you have bugs living in it!" Then she grabbed my mullet, raised it, there was a tick on the back of my neck.

You know, I don't know how long he keeps them. A couple of weeks? A few months? Maybe he waits until autumn, then chucks them all out? Actually, I don't even know where he keeps them...he is a packrat, so yeah, for all I know there's a tool cabinet out in the garage with a library of wood ticks. EW.

Mullets were in?

Taken from this woodtick site:

"Host attachment is accomplished by secreting cement-like substance around mouthparts and inserting it into host."

And even worse than that is this movie, which I had the misfortune of seeing. It'll make Paul think twice before venturing off into the woods ...

I got a "tick kit" from my county. They gave me a really sharp pair of tweezers, some alchohol wipes, and little baggies. My husband got one out of my scalp last year and we put it in a bag with the alchohol and a week later it was still kicking. We sent it away to be analyzed and it was not a carrier of Lyme. We live on 100 acres of woods and now we have a black dog. We are tick checking every night.

picked up a deer tick (and subsequently Lyme Disease) up on the SHT outside Gooseberry (between G.B. and Castle Danger) a few years ago.

not fun.

The little bugger dug in on my side, about midway up my torso (hard to see, hard to get at, not a typical spot...) so I didn't catch it when I was canvassing for critters.

Woodies are easy to see...deer ticks, not so much. They're getting more and more cases of Lyme up this way...so check yerselves (and each other) thoroughly!

I heard Lyme disease was up 37% in Carlton county last year for humans. Both my dogs tested positive in the last year even with frequent use of frontline. I've read too much about ticks lately. They completely creep me out, especially ones giving birth on dinosaur sleeping bags and crawling out of toilets.

I enjoy the little walky feeling their feet make as they scurry across the back of your neck.

may a tick stick to your dick

I'm grossed out enough from catching up on this thread that I feel a need to retaliate. Do any of you know why you're supposed to remove them with a tweezers rather than by squeezing them and pulling? Hint: it's not just that you'll leave the head in, and it involves them vomiting all of their innards directly into your blood stream.

"it involves them vomiting all of their innards directly into your blood stream"


Coincidentally, I was out there the other day - not at this exact spot, but I hiked into Jay Cooke State Park on a ski trail just a little further back toward town. I didn't officially count how many ticks I picked off during and after the appx. 8 mile hike, but I believe it was over 50, at least half a dozen of those being Lyme-carrying deer ticks. I did three or four thorough checks on the bus ride home, and I was still picking ticks off in the shower hours later. But, a small price to pay for the phenomenal beauty and solitude of the park's Spruce Trail, which I highly recommend.

Try the "tick jar". Keep all you find in a glass jar with a good seal. You can watch them eat each other well into the winter. If you drop a really engorged tick in when the rest are getting lean... it's beautiful. I really like it when the last one dies.

Ticks. No Sir, I don't like 'em.

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