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Post by Bosterson » February 21st, 2019, 1:21 pm

They are just the most godawful things ever.
This count would later produce an estimated infestation total of just under 14,000 ticks. This was actually far fewer than they often found, but it was enough to render this calf chronically anemic from January through March and then acutely, fatally anemic in the last couple of weeks of his life. In April, when the gravid females start taking their blood meals, the blood loss over their last two to four weeks aboard the moose “can equate to a calf’s total blood volume,” according to one recent paper—some three and a half gallons. As Inga Sidor, the New Hampshire state veterinary pathologist who processed the tissue samples Debow and Blouin took that day, later told me, the ticks “literally bleed the moose to death.”
One of the tragedies of this dilemma—the essence of it—is that whether we shoot the moose or let the ticks suck the young dry, it is we humans, whether through gunshot or climate change, that are killing moose. Jake Debow thinks the hunt would simply be more humane. These tick-ridden calves, he notes, don’t just lie down peacefully one day and die. They suffer for months.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... se/583189/
#pnw #bestlife #bitingflies #favoriteyellowcap #neverdispleased

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Post by Chip Down » February 21st, 2019, 8:26 pm

Bosterson wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 1:21 pm
They are just the most godawful things ever.
I long for the good ol'days, when I though mosquitoes were the most godawful things ever. I never even saw a tick until, what, 2016 or 2017 I guess, and now the vile little beasts are everywhere.

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Post by aiwetir » February 22nd, 2019, 1:59 am

If you were thinking of ever leaving the house again, check out this paragraph.
In April, female ticks who have feasted on moose over the winter take their last blood meal and drop off into the leaf litter to deposit several thousand eggs apiece. In May, as the forest starts to leaf out, these eggs release tiny, six-legged larvae called seed ticks. Over the summer, they live on the nutrients from their mothers’ winter feast. Around September, these seed ticks start to form loose groups of up to 1,000, which then climb trees or shrubs up to heights of about four to six feet. There, these groups of poppy-seed-sized ticks, having linked their tiny limbs to form long, almost invisible chains, go out on a branch and, as tick biologists call it, “quest.” They simply wait, and when a big, tall, blood-filled mammal walks by and brushes the branch, one or more of the ticks grasps the animal’s fur and holds tight while the rest of the gang swings as a gossamer-thin thread onto the animal. Then they separate, spread out, follow fur to skin, and dig in.
- Michael

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Post by BigBear » February 22nd, 2019, 12:16 pm

When I think of how much blood I've given up to the outdoor pests...

...mosquitoes rank the worst by far. Several bites per day with itchy bumps that last several days.

Only one tick managed to find a place to dine before I could flick it off. But leaches, they don't wander around to look for that table in the corner like a tick does, they just plop themselves down at the first place they see.

Perhaps for four-legged animals, the mosquito is less of a problem than ticks, but for this two-legged hiker, the mosquito has left the biggest mark.

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Post by pcg » February 22nd, 2019, 3:32 pm

I've never been bothered much by ticks, but I do treat my clothes with pyrethrin. Also, from mid-July until Labor Day, I basically take time off from hiking. During that time there are just too many people, flies, and mosquitoes in the mountains and it's generally too hot for me. At any one time any one of them may be the worst. I just stay home and work on the honey-do list. It's a good time to paint the house.

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Post by Bosterson » February 22nd, 2019, 4:03 pm

The especially horrid thing about ticks now is that climate change is affecting winter low temps, areas that used to have cold, snowy winters now don't, which allows ticks to burrow into leaf matter and not die out. This is exposing animal (and people) populations to tick explosions for which those populations have no defense. Hence the report on swarms of ticks bleeding 50% of moose calves dry. :?
#pnw #bestlife #bitingflies #favoriteyellowcap #neverdispleased

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Post by Steve20050 » March 3rd, 2019, 12:03 pm

They are just the most godawful things ever. :o Well. While they are rather horrible I can think of some that are worse. I have always felt fortunate to hike in an area that is rather benign in these issues. We do have ticks though I believe lime disease generally has a 36 hour time period from the time of bite till the actual infection becomes a problem. We do have mosquitos that fortunately don't present as many problems as they do elsewhere. We do have bears, while opportunistic they are small teddy bears that run off compared to say a grizzly or brown bear. We have wasps, yellow jackets, snakes and yes even scorpions, but still we have it pretty tame here.

My worse encounter to date was on the Carettera Austral or southern highway of Chile. I was in Parque Queulat and tried to get off trail to camp, ending up in a birdcage of bamboo. So after ten minutes down and 1 plus hours to get back to the trail I sleep on the trail and woke to find an number of leeches had found their new home on me. None of this compares to what folks farther north on the equator have.

My first trip into Bolivia was one of shock when I read the number and scope of possibilities I might encounter. Much of Bolivia is owned by the indigenous Indians as it was returned to them in the 50s from the conquistadors families whom had been granted much of the land under the Spanish. So your doing more trekking between villages than hiking. Many more remote places require you to also use camiones or the local transport, which is very likely a weekly affair of a flatbed truck with side rails to hold everything in. And I mean everything and anything. The point being your far from any major medical services.

Here's a list from lonely planet of the possible issues, though I've included some issues that are more than just insects.

Altitude sickness or Soroche
Acute mountain sickness - more severe than above.
Prickly heat
Fungal infections

Then we get to the infectious stuff
Viral Gastroenteritis
Rabies- Many folks have dogs. I got the first three injections as it buys you more time.
Meningococcal Meningitis

Then we get to the good stuff. The insects.

Chargas Disease - Listed as little possibility, but if trekking you try to stay out of thatched shelter. The Vinchuca beetle or the assassin bug transmits a parasite through its bite. The parasite causes hardening and constriction of blood vessels swelling organs. Fatal over many years period with no cure, though quick medical attention is necessary. They list 25 % of the population have this.
Dengue Fever
Leishmaniasis - Another one worth mention. Amazonian sand fly transmits this protozoan. Could lead to death by gangrene.
Yellow fever

Edit: I was wondering about the Chargas Disease and read some more. There are other references that say the parasite isn't spread by the bite of the beetle. It may be that the beetle sucks so much blood that it needs to defecate and the parasite actually lives in the excrement of the beetle. So it may be worse than I'd thought if that's possible.

Well. You get the picture. We really live in a paradise. While some of this stuff is a remote possibility, the northwest has pests, but that is about as bad as it gets. ;) For what its worth.

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