Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I'll pass on the parasites, thank you.

What does this time of year remind you of?  Pools?  Barbecues?  S'mores?  This time of year always makes me think of bird mites.  

It was a beautiful late spring/early summer morning when David and I heard tiny little chirps coming from inside our bedroom wall.  David wasn't too thrilled that a bird had found a way into the wall and had made a nest.  Of course, I, on the other hand, was happy for that mama bird that she found a nice cozy spot for her babies.  I told him to leave her alone.  We were all going to live together as a happy little multi-species home.  I would sing to them like snow white and they would become my friends.  

One morning, I was making our bed when I noticed dirt on David's side.  I brushed it off and figured he must have brought some dirt in on accident - stuff like that happens when you live on a farm.  I became distracted and didn't finish making the bed.  When I came back a couple of hours later to finish the job, I noticed the dirt was back.  Puzzled, I started brushing it off again.  And then it happened.  I realized the dirt was moving.  It wasn't dirt.  They were bugs.  Obviously, I assumed they were bed bugs since they were in my bed, but quickly realized they were much too small to be bed bugs.  After some more investigation, we learned that they were bird mites.  Shortly after that, they were on everything.  EVERYTHING.  The bed, the walls, our clothes, the bathroom...everything.  Thankfully, they stayed in our bedroom and bathroom and we were able to contain them to that space.  I think it took about a month to be totally rid of them.  This was the one and only time David has ever been right.  Now, when I see a bird, I want to throw a rock at it.

Just so you can get a clear picture of just how much I hate parasites, I'll give you a brief rundown of our experiences over the last 5 years.

- Giardia: Zeke came to us with this intestinal parasite.  Every time he pooped, I treated him like a bio-terrorist until it was gone.

- Lice: 3 months later, Ella brought lice to the house.  David was the only one who didn't get it.  As many of you know, I am now a lice expert.  Seriously.  I hired a company to come teach me everything I needed to know.  I've had people drop bugs off in my mailbox for me to identify.  We got it twice that school year.

- Lyme Disease:  Maybe a year after that, Ella was bitten by a tick in Martha's Vineyard and contracted Lyme Disease.  30 days of a medication that I had to shoot in the back of her throat because the taste was so bad.  It was described to me as the second worst tasting medication on earth.

- Lung Worm in our goats

- Fleas on our barn cats

- Bird Mites

- Lice one more time (Owen, last summer)

So, all of you who are complaining about Cicadas, suck it up!  I love any bug that doesn't mooch off of my body!  Except for flies.  Flies bring about anger in me like not much else can.

Here's to wishing you all, and us, a parasite free year!

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