New tick disease becoming common in Pennsylvania

Mike Barcaskey

I had spent the morning tending to my 30 or so maple taps, collecting the sap to boil into syrup. When the fire and propane burners were doing their thing, I headed in for a cup of coffee. It was then I felt a faint itch on my back and when I scratched it, I knew right away I had picked up a little hitchhiker.

While it may have been a small tick, it was buried pretty deep. It took me a few minutes to find my favorite tick removal tool, the TickTwister. Once this little crowbar looking device is slide between the tick and your skin, a few spins is all it takes to remove the entire tick, head and all.

I judged that the tick had only been on me for several hours, so I wasn’t too worried about Lyme disease. Nevertheless, the tick went into a plastic sandwich bag which was labeled with my name and date. The little bugger will spend the next month or so in the freezer in case I show any symptoms. I usually end up removing a dozen or so ticks every year and know the routine.

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