Being known for my enthusiasm for bugs and such, I received the “Tick Key” as a gift. I have had two chances to put it to work, each with different results. The first time, a few weeks back, a female deer tick had wandered up my leg and firmly planted itself in my thigh. I tried to employ the Tick Key, making sure to check and double-check the directions, but the little sucker did not come off. Instead it just seemed like I was irritating the skin. I resorted to tweezers and failed to get the head/proboscis completely out which still is a bit itchy at times. (I also foolishly tried to “dig” out the tick bit with the tweezers which only served to irritate and bruise the spot; it’s one of those things you just have to let go. It makes it easier knowing the tick couldn’t have been on me for that long, 10 hours at most, which most medical professionals will tell you is not long enough to transmit disease.)
Well, in summation, the first time didn’t go so well. A couple days ago I got another chance (yeah, really), to test the Tick Key. I was down at the park and was trying to track a bug when I noticed a dark spot on my outer forearm. You guessed it! The male tick shown here had, presumably, just begun attaching itself to my arm. I say presumably, because it came off pretty easily — using the Tick Key, though I should add I forgot the directions and ended up using it backwards. Still, it worked, or things worked out anyway. Including the probsocis, though from the pictures I took I’m not sure if it broke off or not. The arm is not itchy so that seems like a good sign.
The jury remains out on the tick key, but it’s kind of comforting to have out in the field when one is facing the prospect of having to choose between a tick hanging out on your person or interrupting your photo session to find some tweezers, It makes a neat background for a photo, too.