Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Tick me off!

KB invited me to help out HS in his survey at Bukit Timah Hill today. It was a pretty challenging field trip, carrying ladders, climbing slopes etc. I was breathless by the end of the journey. Phew, what a nice workout though.

However, the more shocking discovery was when we were packing up to leave. That was when I sneaked a peep at my socks where I felt this persistent prickling throughout the trip. I noticed many tiny little dots on my socks and a closer inspection revealed that they were moving. That was when I shouted ticks!


The three of us immediately started to pull out our socks. Apparently I was the one who had the most ticks on me. If you looked closely and count, just this side of one feet already have 24 ticks! Luckily I had a pair of tweezers with me and plucked these blood suckers off one by one. Some were anchored so firmly on me that it drew blood when I forcefully removed them. But it was just a tiny bit of red.

Evidently, socks do not provide much protection since so many managed to crawl under it to my flesh... Think there must be about a hundred on my legs at that moment. Probably another hundred on my socks. Shivers...


Ticks belonged to the class of Arachnida, the eight-legged group of arthropods, same as the spiders. It is said that they attach themselves to a host using their mandibles and a feeding tube known as a hypostome, which happen to have backward pointing spikes like a rattan. No wonder it was hard to remove them.

I threw my bug covered socks into a ziplock and tried to take some photos using my raynox macro lens at home. Unfortunately, these pesky little buggers were already dead by then. But at least you can have a view of these nasty parasites. Still, I felt that it was an interesting experience, though I don't endeavour to have another encounter!

Anyway, don't worry. I probably picked up those ticks (or rather, they hunt me down) off trail. Another reason why you should stick to the route at Bukit Timah Hill.


Kok Sheng said...

Eewwh. I hope you are now ok!

The ticks looks squirmish to me.

Ivan said...

Ooh, that's nasty!

It's been months since I last brought my dog downstairs for a walk, and I still find the occasional tick on her. At least it seems that we've finally managed to stop them from breeding inside the house...


ts said...

Yea man, I still have goosebumps whenever I thought of it.

kungfubunny said...

omg! i'm itching just looking at the pic! then i think of tick-related diseases!

at least those i found on my dog in the past were huge and not so pervasive. i hope the bites don't itch! you are a brave soul.

TickedOffLiterally said...

PLEASE contact me if you have any concern about picking up Lyme? I had two ticks from a "non hotspot" state, and sent them for DNA testing where I learned they were carrying Lyme. NO ONE would have told me it was possible. NONE of the "Lyme Disease Maps" are nearly as honest or up-to-date as they should be. I can be reached at TickedOffLiterally@gmail.com and I want to make sure you know I'm not selling anything, but concerned after what happened to me. I blogged about it at Ticked Off Literally.blogspot.com. Hope you're well, but know that the list of possible symptoms is nearly endless, including some who only get a brain infection that gives them sudden psychiatric symptoms.

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