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  1. #1
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    Angry Ticks! And Lyme Again.

    After a really bad bout with Lyme in 03, I never did feel all the way better. Knees, hips, and other joints never seemed to recover. In 04...no lyme. In 05...Lyme. In 06...no lyme. In 07...lyme. So with this every other year pattern, this was the year that I was not to have it.

    Yesterday, I felt a bump on my back and scraped it with my nail. of course, up comes a tick. Just the back end. It was well imbedded into the skin. Took a doctor to cut into the hole and remove the head. Deer tick of course. So today,,,this is the second day of Doxycycline. Only 21 days of my stomach being screwed up. No taking chances as any test will be screwed up anyways since I was already positive.

    This tick thing is becoming one of the top problems for me with beekeeping.

    Just a simple story and a reminder. Be aware of ticks. The lyme disease is very serious and if you go through the first stage (of three), serious damage to your body will happen. Know the difference between common brown dog ticks which are harmless, and deer ticks that can carry lyme disease.

  2. #2
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    Ticks.... ew! Dang things give me the creeps. Just to pass on a little info from personal experience: If you have a tick on you and remove it, put it in a container with 70% rubbing alcohol and have it tested for Lyme disease. Much easier than you going thru the Lyme treatment just in case. My insurance paid for the test, don't know if all will, but I would argue that it is less expensive than the treatment.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3
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    Interesting Hobie. I'll ask about that next time.

    I know that the lyme test is one of the least accurate test they have. Many doctors I know will prescribe the antibiotics due to false positives and false negatives on the lyme test. And who wants to wait to start the fever and symptoms. I wonder if the test is accurate for the tick itself, and for what amount they need. I find getting the embedded tick out sometimes leave so little, so I wonder if it would be enough to send off for a test.

  4. #4
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    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobie View Post
    Ticks.... ew! Dang things give me the creeps. Just to pass on a little info from personal experience: If you have a tick on you and remove it, put it in a container with 70% rubbing alcohol and have it tested for Lyme disease. Much easier than you going thru the Lyme treatment just in case. My insurance paid for the test, don't know if all will, but I would argue that it is less expensive than the treatment.
    I hope you aren't advocating taking every tick to to be tested - only the deer ticks which are noticeably smaller than wood ticks. If I tested all of the ticks I pull off my body, well, I'd be busy.

    Bjorn - I hope that this time you don't have any health setbacks. Are you spraying your legs with Deet when you go into tall grass areas? In other words, you must be in a high deer tick populated area - do you use some preventative measures? If I know I am going to be in tall grass repairing fences, for example, (right in a deer path) I spray my legs down, as they sit on the grass stems and jump on for a free ride.

    MM

  5. #5
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    Great stuff hobie.

    I just got off the phone with the a doctor. Confirmed that testing the tick is an option IF it is removed intact.

    A couple points he mentioned.

    Most deer ticks will come back positive.

    Whether you get lyme is directly related to the time the tick is on you. Under 24 hours and lyme is less likely. Once the tick reached a blood source, the chances go up.

    He did mention many will never realize a tick on them. It feeds, and then falls off. The tell-tale sign of a red bullseye is not always seen. And the cold/flu like symptoms are sometimes delayed a couple weeks or longer, which is why so many miss the connection of the tick and the lyme.

    He said many doctors do not treat without symptoms. Based on the tick depth, my medical history, and confirmation that it was a deer tick, he thought the antibiotics was the way to go.

    He also mentioned the the test is relatively true for being negative, but is more unreliable with it being a false positive.

    Also, he knows many forresters and woodsmen type workers who will take Doxycycline twice a year just to be safe. It is a low irritant and very safe antibiotic. And many miss the connection of having a cold or flu for a couple days.

    For me....
    If the tick has a chance of coming back almost always positive, and not wanting to wait for symptoms, and based on having to have it removed due to it's depth, I'll go for the antibiotics next time.

    Thank you Hobie. Testing ticks was something I did not know about.

  6. #6
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    I just finished up on a round doxycycline about a month ago. Still have the joint pain that goes with the tick thing. The Doctor said it was the worst year for tick related illnesses she had seen.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    Interesting Hobie. I'll ask about that next time.

    I know that the lyme test is one of the least accurate test they have. .
    What is this test? Test to your body as in your blood?
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  8. #8
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    I guess wearing a bee suit would stop that. I have never had a tick. Plus, my wife called me last week and one of our cats had a tick. She pulled it off and head as well. But I wouldn't know the difference between them.

    SO I am tick-less. I am going to look them up now for pictures.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  9. #9

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    In the early summer I wind up removing several ticks a week. Quite often deer ticks. I suppose there are a couple of things working in my favor. I usually find them the same day. Lyme disease doesn't seem as common in this part of the country. Otherwise, I guess I'd have to do what the foresters do and take the antibiotics a couple of times a year as a preventative.
    Bad stuff, that Lyme disease. Good luck and health to ya.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MapMan View Post
    I hope you aren't advocating taking every tick to to be tested - only the deer ticks which are noticeably smaller than wood ticks. If I tested all of the ticks I pull off my body, well, I'd be busy.

    Bjorn - I hope that this time you don't have any health setbacks. Are you spraying your legs with Deet when you go into tall grass areas? In other words, you must be in a high deer tick populated area - do you use some preventative measures? If I know I am going to be in tall grass repairing fences, for example, (right in a deer path) I spray my legs down, as they sit on the grass stems and jump on for a free ride.

    MM
    High tick area??? You bet. I have a couple yards that I can see 3 to 5 ticks on every edge of the nuc boxes. Why, I have no idea. Maybe they are attracted to color or something.

    I do not spray with deet. I know it's safe, but I'm in bee yards sometimes for 10 or 12 hours. And I would be spraying that stuff constantly, everyday. Not sure when too much would be too much. I just look for ticks every so often. The tick I found yesterday was in the middle of my back.

    On average, I would say I pick off (just crawling) over 200 brown dog ticks every year. Some days it can be 5 or 10 depending on the yard. I find maybe 5 or 6 deer ticks per year, but obviously that number is one less than what I would like to find

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglerock View Post
    What is this test? Test to your body as in your blood?
    Yes, its a blood test.

    The first time I had it, I got calls left on my answering machine to call a "number". My wife answered one day, and they told her to have me call this "number", but no explanation. It was the CDC calling to track the lyme and pinpoint its origin. I did not know they track such things.

  12. #12
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    [quote=BjornBee;361147]

    This tick thing is becoming one of the top problems for me with beekeeping.

    quote]

    This time of year I just don't see the ticks but in May and June they are terrible around my yards. I typically have ticks on me most times I leave the yards. I see them on the sides or lids of my hives. Fortunately most of the ticks I've seen have not yet been able to get to the skin. Occasionally I will see them walking on the inside of my veil mostly they are on the outside. I've gotten to the point now that I check the helmet of my pull over veil as I have spotted several right where I was just about to place my head.

    That time of year I have my wife do a quick spot check for ticks after some time in the yards just as a precaution. Fortunately I haven't gotten lyme but a dog we used to have did get several ticks that tested positive.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  13. #13
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    Yeah, lots of tick (and chiggers) here too. We do have Lyme, but probably not as bad as other places. I definitely subscribe to using deet to help reduce bites. I almost never spray the stuff directly on my skin, but instead on my bee suit and boots. I find that doing this dramatically reduces tick bites and almost completely stops chiggers. I use the highest deet percentage available and it really seems to last. I do agree, that if this stuff had to be applied to your skin on a daily basis I'd probably look for an alternate solution. Perhaps you could lay down a barrier of GardStar (or something permethrin based) to keep back ticks from your work areas??

  14. #14
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    That darn Lyme Disease did a number on my Father. He was worn out for many many months. He would never come out to hunt after that. Then 1 1/2 years later he died quickly w/ some fast cancer w/in a few months after diagnosed. I still believe that Lyme messed him up more than he realized. He never did get healthy after that darn hungry tick. I hate them ticks w/ a passion!!! I get them out on my property every time I go out. Part of living in the country though. I would like to get guinnes and a couple turkeys next spring to help w/ the problem in my yards.
    Be careful w/ that Lyme its not a good thing. Good Luck guys

  15. #15
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    Thanks for passing along the great info from your doctor, Bjorn. I was not aware of many of those things, particularly that the risk of Lyme was related to the time the tick was on you.

    I have one of thise tick removers, which looks like a flat piece of metal with a slot in it. the theory is that you slide it under the tick, slot around his head, and slowly urge it out. Easier said than done, however. I've tried the rubbing alcohol and the dish soap tricks to get them to release, and neither worked.

    Mapman & Bjorn, I think I would go mad if I had as many tick encounters as you do!
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  16. #16
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    I was going to say "Get the vaccine!" since that's what was recommended to me last year, but then I started googling it and now I don't know whether it's available...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcross View Post
    I was going to say "Get the vaccine!" since that's what was recommended to me last year, but then I started googling it and now I don't know whether it's available...

    Dee, If I remember correctly, the problem with the vaccine was that it just made every test positive for lyme if they were bitten at a later time. So after the vaccine, there was no way to test and confirm if someone actually had lyme. Although, given the fact that the test is known to be unreliable, this made the whole process questionable even further. And I think some liability issues were being raised. But I'm just going on bits I remember. I'm not sure if they still have it.

    I think thats why some doctors just prescribe twice a year antibiotics for high risk occupations.

    But many doctors wait for symptoms before doing anything. That for me, is too late. To wait to you have fever like symptoms (or wait for a red bullseye...which may never appear) and then make an appointment to see a doc, get the prescription filled, and start the medications to the point it helps....I think damage has already started to your body. And it always seems if you go that route, it's on a Friday with the weekend approaching...which is not good.

  18. #18
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    When I might have had it last year, they said the test would show as positive the rest of your life if you'd ever had an exposure.

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