Warmer weather has brought forth the bugs – including ticks, it seems. We would have included a pic of the one we spotted, but we squished it before it could escape. They don’t move very quickly, but they’re small and dark-colored enough that if they dropped into the grass, you wouldn’t be able to find the tick again.
Of course, the chickens and ducks were nowhere near when the tick was discovered. They had just feasted on worms, grubs, and other bugs that were unearthed when we turned over logs in an old woodpile and a big piece of plywood that had been out for a while (and if earthworms really are an indicator of soil health, ours seems to be respectable). Theoretically, though, chickens and ducks will eat ticks.
We realize the ticks are just trying to survive, like other bloodsucking creatures. Unfortunately for the tick, it’s creepy…and once you’ve seen one nearby, you can’t shake the idea that one is on you. It’s probably because they look and move like spiders, which makes sense (both are arachnids). This tick looked like a lone star tick, common here in Kentucky. Also, tick season starts in mid-March, so they have arrived right on time.
It might be time to get some guinea fowl, touted as “tick assassins”, to help clear the area. In the meantime, we’ll do full-body checks supplemented by spot checks every time we get a creepy feeling or an itch. Better safe than sorry.