As the prevalence of ticks and tick-borne illness continues to grow, particularly in the northeastern United States, the modern hunter gatherer (and all who enjoy spending time in the natural world) must be acutely aware of the risk of tick exposure when out on the landscape and have a comprehensive tick strategy in place. Dr. Stephen Rich is here to take us on an intimate tour of the tick and how we can best mitigate our risk of tick-borne disease.
Dr. Stephen Rich is a Professor of Microbiology and Director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is also the Director of Tick Report, a fantastic and accessible tick testing service for public individuals and agencies seeking more information about the risk of dangerous pathogens.
In this interview, Stephen guides us through the most common tick species and where to find them, as well as the life stages of the tick and the various stages of tick bite prevention. Stephen gives us the lowdown on why we’re seeing a massive increase and what appears to be a northward migration of ticks in our environment. We also discuss the various tick-borne illnesses, with a special focus on Lyme disease, and what we can do to prevent contracting these illnesses if we are bitten by a tick. This information is so vital for all of us who enjoy a relationship with the natural world! Please enjoy this illuminating conversation with Dr. Stephen Rich, and share this podcast with friends and family that could benefit from a better understanding of ticks and tick-borne illness!
- Show Introduction:
- Hunt + Gather updates: Bear hunting and elderberry harvesting
- Q&A: Prepping for natural disasters + opting out of airplane body scanners
- Thoughts on ticks and tick-borne disease + Daniel’s personal tick strategies
- Introducing Dr. Stephen Rich
- What piqued Stephen’s interest in zoonotic disease and ticks
- Mice in the last glaciation
- On Stephen’s service, Tick Report
- The taxonomy of ticks and transmission of disease
- Why the massive increase and northward migration in human-biting ticks?
- The life stages of ticks
- Where to find different species of ticks
- What happens when a tick bites you
- The stages of tick bite prevention
- Getting perspective on Lyme disease
- Lyme disease and co-infections by the numbers
- Best practices for removing a tick
- Stephen’s predictions for the future of ticks and tick-borne disease
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ReWild Yourself Podcast is brought to you by:
America’s Indigenous Stimulant is Back! Did you know that Yerba Mate’ has a North American sibling? Yaupon (pronounced yo - pawn)––North America’s only native caffeine plant––was revered by the native peoples of the continent’s southern regions. Nearly forgotten, the “Black Drink” as it was called, has re-emerged amidst the movement toward sustainably-harvested local-food.
RESOURCES FROM THIS SHOW:
- Big Berkey Water Filtration System
- Tick Report
- ReWild Yourself Podcast: Zombie Ticks and the Lyme Wars - Stephen Harrod Buhner #73
- Healing Lyme: Natural Healing of Lyme Borreliosis and the Coinfections Chlamydia and Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis, 2nd Edition by Stephen Harrod Buhner
- Stephen Buhner's Healing Lyme website
- Lyme disease
- Deer Tick or Black-legged Tick, Ixodes scapularis
- American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variabili
- Lone Star Tick, Amblyomma americanum
- Tick ID chart
- Tick identification guide
- Life-cycle of Ixodes scapularis (a.k.a. blacklegged or deer tick)
- Tick scutal index
- Tick Bite Could Make You Allergic to Meat—and It's Spreading
- Radiolab: Podcast on Alpha Gal, the sugar molecule spread by the Lone Star tick bite
- Borrelia miyamotoi
- Powassan virus
- Scott P. Commins, MD, PhD
- Delayed Anaphylaxis to Red Meat in Patients with IgE Specific for Galactose alpha-1,3-Galactose (alpha-gal)
- TickEase Tick Remover
Connect with Stephen:
Dr. Stephen M. Rich is a Professor of Microbiology and Director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is also the Director of Tick Report, a professional tick testing service for public individuals and agencies seeking more information about the risk of dangerous pathogens. He has authored numerous scientific publications, and his research focuses on zoonotic diseases, in particular Lyme Disease and human malaria. You can find his work at TickReport.com and TickDiseases.org.