Warm weather is pouncing into the Ozarks. Hints of warm weather bring out the lone star ticks.
A lone star tick gets its common name because of a single white spot on the back of the adults. These are the common ticks in the Ozarks spring to late summer.
The cool weather did bring out a few ticks. A tick here. Another there. Enough to be annoying, but not a problem.
That changes with warm weather. Armies of ticks are out in force.
Although ticks are common out in the woods, they aren’t easily seen even when you look for them. Many are immature and a bare sixteenth of an inch across. Even the adults are less than a quarter inch across.
I met up with an adult lone star tick in the woods. The pussytoes are in bloom and I wanted a picture of some.
Since pussytoes are less than six inches tall, I sat down to get the camera down for a picture. This audacious lone star tick started racing over toward me.
This tiny creature was eighteen inches away. How could it know I was there?
I tossed it over a few inches. It immediately began racing toward me again.
After two or three times of tossing this tick aside and having it still race toward me, I knew it was homing in on me somehow. Mosquitoes use carbon dioxide and heat. What was the tick using?
The beacon had to be heat. I find ticks prefer warmer areas on the goats so it must be heat. Once a goat is bitten, the area reddens heating up and becomes a tick magnet.
One thing for sure, this tick had to be extremely sensitive to heat to notice the slight increase from me over eighteen inches.
Unfortunately for the tick, it was rushing to execution.
I have zero tolerance for ticks. The insect repellent is coming out of the closet. Soapy water and chickens are even better as the ticks die.