Wood tick awareness

Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time on Six Nations has been bit by a wood tick. It’s inevitable.

The wood ticks live in the long grass and the trees. Some say they have sensitive antennae and jump from trees when they detect blood. Wood ticks are parasites.

Although I am an editor of a distinguished publication, I admit that I have been bit by at least 200 wood ticks in my lifetime, maybe even 1,000 but that number seems so high I lowered it.

Don’t be ashamed if you’ve been bit, it’s not your fault.

We unilaterally kill wood ticks, across the board, no exceptions. There have been intense discussions over tables at Six Nations on how to properly deal with these pests. We took the time to conduct a quick survey and it seems there are some culturally appropriate ways:

  • Flushing ticks down the toilet may be the most compassionate way go. The tick may or may not die when it goes down the drain it goes into the hands of fate. This is a very popular method but sometimes you are not around toiletry when the tick is found.
  • Burning a wood tick with a lighter is also a good one. Many people from the northern areas of Six Nations believe in this method, reports say. If you do try this, listen for the pop sound to know the execution totally worked.
  • If you have fingernails it is possible to actually tear a wood tick completely in half.
  • This isn’t going to go over well with PETA but the TRT has verified that some Six Nations residents believe in pulling off the legs of the tick and leaving it alone. Ouchie!

It’s important to remember that the goal is to prevent the tick from biting anyone else — and sometimes a tick has to die in that defensive process. A second person should never be bitten by a tick that was recently found by another human being – it is irresponsible to let a tick go.

One person surveyed did admit they threw ticks “out the front door” which only leads to chances of a second bite.

If we look to nature it is the responsibility of the possum to eat the parasites that threaten us.

According to Canadian agencies the proper way to deal with wood ticks is to seal them in a Ziplock bag in case of Lyme disease. Isn’t Lyme disease from the mysterious deer tick, the smaller cousin to the woody? What does Canada know about wood ticks anyway.

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