If you’ve ever been camping or on a walk in the woods, chances are that you’ve picked up an unwelcome guest once or twice. Now, this type of guest isn’t unwelcome for their bad table manners per se, but rather for their vampire-like behavior and ability to spread disease.
I’m talking about ticks. These guys are members of the mite family, and they survive by feeding off the blood of their host.
There have been incidents of thousands of ticks being removed from dogs. In worst-case scenarios, people can contract Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses, which require medical treatment.
In order to keep yourself and your family safe this tick season, it’s important to know that ticks come in all shapes and sizes.
One Ohio mom discovered this the hard way after finding tiny seed ticks (or tick larvae) all over her daughter’s body. When she realized what had happened, she decided to share her family’s horror story with others to warn everyone about just how small ticks can get.
When Beka Setzer realized that her daughter was covered in hundreds of tick larvae last July, she immediately posted the story to Facebook.
The community was shocked by Beka’s cautionary tale, and it became an online sensation.
Now, people are sharing the story once more to spread the word about the dangers of tick season.
Recently, the post was shared by Love What Matters on Facebook, where it quickly racked up more than 8,000 reactions and over 14,000 shares.
It all started after Beka’s daughter Emmalee came indoors after playing outside. She was covered in dozens of tiny dots.
Her mom quickly realized it wasn’t dirt: those little specks were moving!
PSA: (check pictures/watch videos below) I’m putting this out there just a heads up for parents of kids who love to play outside during this time. Emmalee was playing outside yesterday, rolling around on the ground while enjoying the sprinkler.
After coming inside and laying down for a nap, I just happened to notice tiny (and I mean TINY) little black dots all over her legs, abdomen, arms and armpit area.
Thinking they may have just been seeds, I tried to wipe them or scrape one off and it was a TICK! She must’ve been playing in or near a nest of tick larvae and was covered.
I spent nearly an hour and a half picking off well over 150 minuscule baby ticks off of her, gave her a long Dawn dish soap bath with repeated washing, washed all bedding, clothing and toys she came into contact with afterwards and administered Benadryl.
This morning she woke up with a low grade fever, these spots on her and a hard, large marble sized swollen lymph node.
She’s been seen by the Dr. already today and started on an aggressive and extended course of antibiotics and antihistamines, hopefully it’ll clear up quickly.
I want to make every parent aware of what these look like so you can be on the lookout. They’re not as easy to see as the ticks you’re likely looking for on yourself or children…
Research “seed ticks” (ticks in the larvae stage of life) for more information.
Beka also updated her post to confirm that the bugs were not chiggers or no-see-ums.
She adds: “These were NOT chiggers. I had a handful of these ticks sent away to be analyzed and (thankfully) negatively tested for Lyme disease.”
Even though the larvae were small and had been promptly removed from the little girl’s body, they still left their mark on her as the species feeds on blood through all life stages.
More good news is that Beka’s daughter Emmalee is going to be OK. The result is in no doubt thanks to Mom’s attention to detail.
To help avoid seed ticks this year, make sure to carefully check yourself, your kids, and your pets whenever you come in from playing outside.
Even full-grown deer ticks like the one above are hard to spot, meaning the seed ticks are even trickier to find.
If you suspect a tick bite, call your doctor immediately. Additionally, watch for the following symptoms listed by the Mayo Clinic:
Aches and chills
Swollen lymph nodes
Oozing at bite site