Summer Hazards: Ticks, Bug Bites, And a Burned Backside



I wasn’t much of an outdoors-kind-of-gal growing up in the ‘burbs of Chicago. So when I met my husband who was a flannel-wearing, hiking-booted Wisconsin boy (even at our wedding, but I digress) I did my best to pretend otherwise.

As he introduced me to the beauty of nature, I secretly panicked at the thought of all the ticks, mosquitoes and black flies just waiting to take a bite.

One morning after having spent the previous day wandering the woods, I woke up and found a tick happily embedded in the back of my thigh. My husband was at work, I was home alone. And, I’ll admit, I panicked.

All I knew is you weren’t supposed to just pull the tick out because its head could get stuck. So what to do? I recalled someone saying you could hold a match to them, they’d back out.  So there I stood, twisted in some yoga-like pose, with a lit match to the back of my leg.

When I realized all I was managing to do was burn my leg and not get the tick out, I recalled someone else saying petroleum jelly would work. So I slathered that over the little blood-sucker. Still nothing. That’s when I thought perhaps the combination of the petroleum jelly and lit match together would work. And, well, things just didn’t get better from there but I believe there was some mayonnaise, vinegar and dish soap involved as well.

Now that I’m a mom, I’ve had to learn a few lessons on how best to handle these types of situations. If you’re looking for some resources to print out and keep handy in your first aid kit, check out the following resources.

Safety Guides and Instruction Sheets

Tick Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide (includes a printable instruction sheet)

Woods and Camping Safety for the Whole Family (includes Insect Stings and Allergic Reactions instruction sheets)

Insect Stings and Bites Instruction Sheet

Poison Ivy (includes photos so you know what leaves of three to let be)

Sun Safety (includes a Sunburn instruction sheet)


  • While trying to pick raspberries the mosquitos are horrible. They still bite you even with long sleeves, face net, hat, gloves, pants, oh my!

  • I definitely fear ticks the most. I’ve never seen a deer tick in person, though, so I am most afraid of the big, gross, fat wood ticks.

  • Ticks! We love our dog but during the summer he brings into our home so many ticks.

  • Patricia Crowley

    I worry about poison ivy…We can’t seem to get rid of it around our backyard near the woods!

  • I fear bee/wasp stings. I’ve been stung in the face a few times in the past and have swollen up.

  • TICKS! I am horrified of them. I am not afraid of many things, but ticks creep me out beyond anything else!

  • I experienced a tick ordeal with my daughter a few years back and needed the help of my brother to get it out. I fear my daughter getting stung by a bee…she hasn’t been stung yet and she is almost 7, so I have the fear that she is allergic to bee stings.

  • OMG… thank you for the laugh- although at your expense! I have been there done that unfortunately as well but at the time did not find any humor as well! Also, the tick was in my ear and you can imagine trying to put a match head in the ear canal… NOT FUN!

    I am a new camper and LOVE the outdoors but I am also a Chicagoan and am still getting acclimated to it! I have to say I fear Jason the most when I am out camping… the sounds outside my tent late at night, forget the lions, tigers and bears- I swear to you, Jason IS out there!!!! lol After that would be ticks and bees!

    But while saying those are my biggest fears I am going to go pack my things since early in the morning we are leaving to go up to Lake Geneva and do a night or two while we can since it has cooled off a bit! Happy Summer to all and stay cool!!!!

  • I fear sunglasses are not completely protecting our eyes.