Parasites, Beware!

South Texas notoriously has creepy crawlers! We have cockroaches, spiders, scorpions, bees, beetles, ants, and mosquitos….just to name a few. Our climate allows bugs to thrive. It can make for an annoying outdoor experience every once in a while if you are not prepared for them. Many of them have unpleasant stings but aside from the ” ouch” most are pretty harmless unless you are allergic to them. Some of the bugs that you might see as the least scary are the ones that should be taken more seriously. The three that are on the top of my worrisome list are mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. These three itchy nasty bugs are some of the most dangerous we have down here because of the diseases they can spread when they bite you.
I recently had a very itchy infested bug experience that brought back some memories. A few weeks ago I was riding around a friends ranch helping with maintenance. We were checking blinds and scouting the grounds when we ran across a group of javelina. They were in the path of the truck and we stopped as they ran across the clearing in front of us. We continued about 150 yards from them when I decided to grab my bow and see if I could stalk them. The wind was in my favor and had a pretty good chance of sneaking up on them. There were about ten or so and as I approached them I could hear and smell them but could not see them. Javelina are very stinky animals! They have a distinct musk smell to them, that in my opinion is almost skunky smelling. You know a Javelina when you smell one.
I ended up getting within bow range and had a mature javelina step out of the brush just long enough for me to get the shot off. It looked like a good hit so I waited a few minutes then started tracking her. A short while later I brought the harvested animal out of the brush for pictures. On the way to the cleaning rack I decided that I wanted to keep the skull for home decor and needed to skin it out so I could European mount it. As I skinned the skull out I started to feel like I had bugs crawling all over me…… Well I did! I had fleas all over me! Gross! The javelina had been infested with fleas and now so was I! I quickly finished skinning out the skull and went back to the camp house to de-flea myself!
Sometimes the game animals that you harvest have parasites. I have had ticks on me from hogs, fleas from javelina and both on me from just being out and about. I have had ticks from just hiking before! I am also careful with birds, they sometimes have mites that will make you itch! Mites aren’t as scary as ticks and fleas. Ticks and fleas can carry some very serious illnesses. My father was infected with Scrub Typhus once from a tick bite. It was a horrible thing to see a loved one go through. We also have bad mosquitos in the south that carry disease as well. For this reason I always take precaution. Be sure to check yourself for ticks after hunts! Always bring mosquito spray! It’s a good idea to have some tick-flea spray in the first aid kit as well!

Feb 17, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 4


4 comments on “Parasites, Beware!

  1. Thia Anderson

    Great blog, Nena, although it made my skin crawl!!! We also have fleas and ticks here that infest much of our game. My coyote a few weeks ago had several fleas on it and I ended up with flea bites. Prior to that, I really hadn’t seen very many fleas. Ticks, on the other hand, are a real problem here. As soon as the snow melts off and things start to warm up, you can barely walk across a field or through the brush without having several of the creepy little buggers walking on you! Yuck!!! Many of the deer we kill here have them dropping off of them when we skin them out. I have a friend that had Lyme’s disease several years ago and is still dealing with the aftermath of it, so I especially wary of tick exposure. Nasty little creepy crawlers! They give me the hee bee jee bees!!!!

    • Nena

      It grosses me out as well to pull off ticks on both me and the dogs! I agree they are nastey little things! Lymes disease is bad news bears…it really knocks people to their rear! That’s too bad about your friend 🙁 My dad had issues too for a long time after being sick from that tick bite.

  2. Hi Nena
    My wife was out in the garden and was bite by a tick, she got a rash and a big bullseye, Got her to the doctor in time for treatment of lyme’s disease, We have problems with fieas and there are hard to get rid of them. Have enjoyed your blog’s

    • Nena

      Hello Scott!
      I am sorry to hear your wife ended up with it, that is good news that she was treated fast! Lymes is one heck of a nastey thing to have, very hard on the body. It must have been hard to see her go through that! Glad she is better! Thanks for reading my blogs…..its nice to hear you like them 🙂
      Down here in Texas we struggle with fleas constantly, they live in the sand and are hard to get away from! I feel you there….I hate those itchy suckers too!

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