We never officially came up with a set of rules but the concept sounded fun. We had plenty of participants. Ticks and Sticks. Us and them. About 100 billion of them it seemed.
I never saw a tick until we moved to eastern Washington and then I saw way too many. Usually I would catch them stumbling out of my hair line as if a lost soul finally finding their way out of the woods to a road or something. I always got the impression that they were grateful to have found their way off of my body but it happened at the most inopportune times.
I would be talking to someone casually and would feel something on my head moving. The person I’m talking to would look in horror at my hair as a tick would just casually crawl off of my scalp and onto my face and drop off of my body. I had one guy make a beeline with his fingers to my face and deftly snatch one off and he rushed to a sink and squished it then washed his hands. He wasn’t fazed and obviously had experience in these things. Imagine a first date and seeing a bug crawl out of your date’s hair? Social snafu.
It happened so often I began to see patterns. I swear to you that whenever I entered a place with fluorescent lighting, if one was there, it would become agitated and start moving. I even looked it up online but couldn’t find any documented verification that they didn’t like that kind of light.
To my knowledge, one never latched on. I know about the risks of these bites and that made me and my family nervous so we began to eat raw garlic every day. It may have helped but it’s hard to say.
They even invaded our little trailer and we were trying to figure out how they were getting in. We were trying to stay clear of all brush and were checking each other in addition to using repellent along with the garlic but there they were. We finally realized it was probably the cat. We dubbed him The Tick Bus and got some repellent for him too. People around town were saying that despite using tick repellent on their animals, the ticks would show up just the same.
Not having a lot of money the first year, we were trying to be creative and find ways to “play” outside as a family. We kicked balls around and used sticks for baseball, etc. and one day we were trying to come up with something original in a game. The idea came to me in a flash of inspiration; Ticks and Sticks. We had plenty of each on our property.
How would that game be played? Use your imagination.
They were the worst in spring and early summer and finally they went away for the most part only to be replaced by the scourge of yellow jackets. A really bad scourge this year from what we heard.
Thank God none of us experienced any consequences of the infestation and I hope next year we can be more proactive when tick season comes. I’m still wondering why I always caught them desperately trying to abandon ship rather than trying to latch on (gross).
They are ugly little nasty little things. What purpose could they possibly fill in the big scheme of things? I’m sure they have their place, just not on my head.