Deer Tick
Thursday, May 26, 2011
     Found a deer tick, depicted on right, on the back of my knee this morning.
     I picked it up either while gardening in Harvard Square yesterday or, much more likely, while rousting about in the woods last Monday. Which latter likelihood would indicate that I had been hosting it for almost three days, not a happy circumstance.
     The greater part of today has been spent researching this diminutive critter on the web and, of course, getting the thing positively identified by naturalist Bill Amidon. Besides Bill, the best resource I found was the UMassExtension Agriculture & Landscape Program. I sent the tick there for testing for the Lyme pathogen.
     It's a good bet that, in the future, I will take more seriously the admonition to check thoroughly after leaving the woods of Southeastern Massachusetts. The last time I found a tick (a dog tick in that case) on me was last year; the only time before that occurred fifty years ago. All of them came from the South Coast area, which is hardly the only neck o' the woods I have frequented.
deer tick
Postscript Friday, June 3
     From Craig Hollingsworth of UMass Extension: "The tick that you submitted tested negative for presence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the organism that causes Lyme disease."