Tick Checks aren’t Protecting You.

July 27 2019,  Lovell, ME – “Tick Checks” aren’t protecting you. At least not entirely nor very well. My son just got back from summer camp, and we had been warned about ticks in the white mountains where he camped and hiked.  “If the kids aren’t finding one tick a day, they aren’t doing their tick checks right” they told us.  

I had sent him to camp without Tick Toaster. The latest batch of bands wasn’t ready. I wasn’t proud of this, but figured rigorous  tick checks could make up for it. 

Well, Jesse insisted he did his tick checks numerous times, and was tick free the entire week.   And why would I doubt him? He’s gone with me on hundreds of tick hunting expeditions. Just about every day we collect ticks to test with. If there’s a kid that knows ticks, he’s it. 

My wife and I checked him anyway, just to be safe.   No ticks, he was right. But later on I hear my wife exclaim “He’s got a tick!!”. 

He missed it at camp with twice a day tick checks.  Mom and dad missed it.  That’s over 5 tick checks.  Over five Failures. My wife only noticed by accident hours later.  The penalty for missing a tick like this could be serious.  

How is it that people rely on something so unreliable as a first defense? It’s a gamble with your health to be sure. One that you are going to loose.

This tick was tinier than I had ever seen. About the size of a period at the end of this sentence.  Good luck finding that somewhere on your body. 

I had no excuse.  I was trying to make more prototypes with an upgrade  but didn’t finish in time.  You can bet that everyone in the family will get a toaster next time, upgrade or not.  I made the mistake everyone else makes.  Betting on the “Tick check”. 

So what did I do? I put on a Tick Toaster, and placed the tiny critter on my leg. Would he be detected? The theory said yes, but this was the first time it would be put to the test with a tick 4 times smaller than I’d ever tested.  At about 40 thousands of an inch long, this tick was small!

 Zap! Beep!  Success. Had he been wearing these bands, I would not be making a trip today to get antibiotics.

Let’s Zoom in on that tiny dot.

 

Sure enough, a Deer Tick. This is called a “nymph” and is known to transmit Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis. We will be sending this tick away for testing, and watching Jesse for symptoms.

UPDATE: On 8/3/2019 we received the results of the tick testing, and it isn’t good. The tick tests positive for Lyme disease. We now have to begin treatment immediately before symptoms begin.  This is the second time my son has had to go through this.

This is a big issue– and it isn’t taken serious enough by many people.

His primary physician wants us to wait for symptoms before beginning any treatment. Not a good idea. So once again we have to pay out-of-pocket for a “homeopathic” doctor to give us the required medicine and tests. Medical fail. Now for the second time (Jesse has gone through this before).

I spoke with the owner of the camp personally , and gave him my business card. I offered free Tick Toasters in return for feedback, and wanted to explore how we could work together to reduce the kid’s exposure to ticks on his property. This is his chance to help make a difference and help get the word out.

He acknowledges his camp has a tick problem, so why hasn’t he or his nurse called me?  When Jesse was signing up for camp, they couldn’t get those vaccine and health forms in fast enough. So if they are concerned about health, why not be concerned about Lyme Disease and the health of the kids attending their camp? Every camper is at risk.

Tick Toasters aren’t yet available but we will begin our pilot program soon.  Sign up  to be a part of it. Spread the word! Click below to share with anyone you know that may be interested in helping get the word out. Thanks!