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  1. #1
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    Default Ticks and skeeters in Ocala NF during January to March?

    Living in North Fl I hike several times per year but never can get excited about hiking in FL always head north or west...planning to do the ONF FT section this winter over 3-4 days with my jack Russell after hunting season. Plan to treat socks, shoes and wind pants with permethrin. How bad are the ticks and skeeters during winter. I prefer colder weather so will plan accordingly. Any camp sites more buggy than others. Thanks...


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  2. #2

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    Im guessing it varies depending on weather and if theres been freeze or not.
    I grewed up in northwest fla which gets a bit cooler and sees a number of freezes in normal yr
    Did lots of Nov-Jan. hunting. No tick issues I can ever remember hunting. Not one in my life. Occassional ticks playing in woods, but not hunting.

    Took my dog out one Jan when home from college for a walk, he came back covered in ticks. Found about 40 on him and the parents white colored carpet where they really stood out and were easy to see. fortunately they seemed to move slow and sluggishly, and only a couple attached.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 12-12-2016 at 12:00.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Im guessing it varies depending on weather and if theres been freeze or not.
    I grewed up in northwest fla which gets a bit cooler and sees a number of freezes in normal yr
    Did lots of Nov-Jan. hunting. No tick issues I can ever remember hunting. Not one in my life. Occassional ticks playing in woods, but not hunting.

    Took my dog out one Jan when home from college for a walk, he came back covered in ticks. Found about 40 on him and the parents white colored carpet where they really stood out and were easy to see. fortunately they seemed to move slow and sluggishly, and only a couple attached.
    Kind of what I was thinking about waiting and hoping for a hard freeze first but down here can't count on that...took my son and dog a short 2 mile walk Saturday on a well maintained wide nature trail by our house and still managed to pull off 2 ticks. Like you I grew up hunting mainly in NW Fl...outside TLH and never had issues during winter. I've never spent any time near ONF except on the rivers.....I'll treat pup with Adams flea and tick spray as well as my cloths with permethrin. Don't think I'll try the mid with no net on that trip...


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  4. #4
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    We had a light freeze here a few weeks ago, but it's been unseasonably warm with highs between 70 and 85 since then...
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  5. #5
    Going for A walk left52side's Avatar
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    I am relatively close to ONF and as engine mentioned we have had some warmer weather lately,but on my overnights and day hikes I havent had issues with many mosquitos or ticks and neither has the pooch
    If I die trying now I wont die wondering how life could have turned out.....


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    Thx guys got the info im in Atlantic beach outside Jax....same miserable hot weather!


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  7. #7

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    Shouldn't be bad during that time period, and you may not see any ticks... but the ONF is generally loaded with ticks (and chiggers) so I would treat everything treatable with permethrine. Don't forget your backpack. When you set it down for lunch or at camp, they will crawl up onto it... they deserve to die, so treat, treat, treat.

    In those months, it shouldn't be too hot (even if it's not "cool") so I would suggest wear long pants just to be safe.

  8. #8

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    Never had a problem with bugs in Jan/Feb in ONF. One of the sweet times to be out on the FL trail.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    Never had a problem with bugs in Jan/Feb in ONF. One of the sweet times to be out on the FL trail.
    Sad to say I've never set foot on the FT and I'm not that far away in Jax.....something about the hills and mountains.....I've done lots of paddling here but no hiking. Plan to at least hit a few weekend sections this winter such as ONF and Suwannee river section in between trips to the AT..


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    Anyone been out in ONF this winter? What winter rather....skeeters and ticks still thick due to lack of cold?


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  11. #11
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Been doing 2-3 hikes a week lately getting ready for the pending AT thru-hike. We haven't had any issues with ticks, chiggers, or mosquitoes.

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    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    Been doing 2-3 hikes a week lately getting ready for the pending AT thru-hike. We haven't had any issues with ticks, chiggers, or mosquitoes.

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    Great thx hoping to get three days to do the ONF...when you headed to springer?


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  13. #13
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    We're leaving for Georgia on the 23rd. I'll be back up from the keys after the 15th and we'll be doing some day hikes for that week between those two dates.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    We're leaving for Georgia on the 23rd. I'll be back up from the keys after the 15th and we'll be doing some day hikes for that week between those two dates.

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    I hope to be in key largo by march 11 if all goes well and weather cooperates unlike last year...paddling my sup in Everglades challenge from Tampa to Key largo....march 4-11.....good luck on your thru!!


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    Just checking to see if anyone has been on Juniper Prairie/Hopkins Prairie in last few days. I'm curious to know current insect situation and any other info worth passing along.

  16. #16

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    My brother did a day hike about 20 miles west south west of Juniper a couple weeks ago and he picked off over 20 ticks.
    Treat, treat, treat.
    knowing a couple people who have struggled with lyme disease, the gamble of NOT treating your clothes, backpack, sleeping bag, etc, isn't worth the risk.

  17. #17
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    Ditto on MtDoarDave's post...I live within the Ocala National Forest and the ticks are horrible!

  18. #18

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    There's hardly been a winter this year. The lowest temp I saw for Ocala was 28, one time. Not enough to kill off most ticks.

  19. #19
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    Default Ticks and skeeters in Ocala NF during January to March?

    was just in the Farles Lake area March 14 and ticks are there. I usually don't pick up ticks but did this trip. Will treat clothes next time I go

  20. #20
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    I picked up 3-5 ticks while near Hull Swamp via the Eaton Trail head. One of them made it all the way home with me. Seems to be more this year on the Florida Trail than last year.


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