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Ticks, Horseflies: Two Public Enemies

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

This Castor Bean Tick spells trouble.

This Castor Bean Tick spells trouble.

It's Tick. Not Tic, Tac, Toe! It's not even the slang term, "Dilly Tickie." No offense to Hip Hope or Rappers. But tick. The ugly, deadly, annoying parasites that live on the earth and dogs, sometimes human beings. These critters are not choosy. Ticks can find lodging on most any surface, smooth or rough. So now we can say "Ticks" and tell others how to pronounce the "blood suckers'" name when we visit those casual get-togethers. Labor Day 2021 included.

We are all explorers in some ways, and now we explore the hidden truth about ticks. The tick is a tiny woodland arthropod of the order Ixodida. They serve but only one purpose: sucking the blood out of cows, dogs, cats, and human beings. For what? Only God Himself knows. I don't. You might know, but I doubt it. But if you or your family happen to be Eco-Naturalists and can tell me the story about ticks, please clue me in.

I've read the "reasons" where the tick resides and what they do, but even the most-scienficic of higher minds have not revealed "why" ticks live on the earth. Sure, other living things (not us) love to eat ticks, namely the possum, who devours tons of ticks over the time of the possum. But we now know what purpose that the possum fulfills, but not the tick. Okay. I will comprise. Possums eat ticks. And something eats possums. You are still like me, in the dark, about what purpose does a tick have in life as we know it?

Female tick on dog.

Female tick on dog.

Now let's talk for a bit about "the" coolest, slickest, and colorful parasite of all, let's give it up for the horsefly. The horsefly is not one to be intimidated by anyone, ticks, wasps, angry horses and all. Even at anytime, not necessarily daytime or in the night, a horsefly who grows huntry can swoop-down and land on a goat, dog, cat or their favorite: horses. Thus the name, horse-fly. These guys are bold and love their work. There is only one insect that can rival that of a brave horsefly and that is a June bug. Both respect the other and their turf's, but if it came to a knock-down, fly-off, buzzing contest, the June bug would win wings-down.

Would you like to learn Five Interesting Horsefly Facts? Just look and read.

⦁ A horsefly’s bite is painful and can spread diseases such as anthrax.

⦁ A horsefly larva has siphons at the end of their bodies that allows it to breathe if it lives in water.

⦁ A horsefly larva also bites, hard. If you are bitten, you will notice right off.

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⦁ Horseflies only bite during the daytime and especially on calm and sunny days.

⦁ The horsefly is the fastest flying insect, and the fastest horsefly on record was clocked at 90 miles per hour. A horsefly should enter the Kentucky Derby.

But as we ride off into the sunset, we are still perplexed. To say nothing about being dumb founded. We are not Albert Einstein's or a Stephen Hawkin. But someday as the future unfolds, the answer about what purpose does the tick fulfill, may be found in the vast universe . . .and be glad that ticks and horseflies are not made like our good buddy, the Pterodactyls.

Later, if we live.

Besides leeches, the hose fly can be thought of the "King of Blood Suckers."

Besides leeches, the hose fly can be thought of the "King of Blood Suckers."

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© 2021 Kenneth Avery


Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

I remember picking ticks off of our dogs when living in McAllen, Texas many years ago. I never saw one on our dogs when living in Houston. Hooray for that!

As to horseflies, I learned some facts about them by reading this. I had no idea that they could fly that fast! Thanks for the education today, and wishing you freedom from both insects.

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