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Thread: Tick Questions

  1. #1
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    Default Tick Questions

    Just wondering if any thru or section hikers have encountered tick problems so far this year. If so, whereabouts?

    Also, is permethrin suggested, or is deet good enough? If I use permethrin, how often should I reapply it? Most labels say 6 weeks but should I do 4 to be safe? Also, what do you spray? Just the clothes on your body, or everything including your pack, headwear, etc?

    Thanks

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    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untitleddocument View Post
    Also, is permethrin suggested, or is deet good enough? If I use permethrin, how often should I reapply it? Most labels say 6 weeks but should I do 4 to be safe? Also, what do you spray? Just the clothes on your body, or everything including your pack, headwear, etc?

    Thanks

    I plan on treating after 4 weeks but I have nothing to back up that choice. My suspicions are that the rigors of a thru may wash out/degrade the permethrin prematurely.

    I treat all my clothing with the soak method and stray shoes, pack, tent opening.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

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    Hi...


    I've read posts in which either one will work (NOT verified by me). CAUTION: if you should decide on DEET...that stuff will dissolve paint...!! (I can personally verify that).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    I treat all my clothing with the soak method and stray shoes, pack, tent opening.
    I agree with your 4 week theory.

    And by soak method you are implying you dump the permethrin into a container and literally dunk your clothes in? I suppose that must be more effective but can the higher concentration of chemical be dangerous at all? Sorry, just not very familiar with the product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder1 View Post
    I've read posts in which either one will work (NOT verified by me). CAUTION: if you should decide on DEET...that stuff will dissolve paint...!! (I can personally verify that).
    I have heard that DEET is pretty nasty as well, that it can eat through certain types of clothing etc. Have you heard anything about combining the two products or is that overkill?

    I just stress about ticks because both my father and girlfriend have had Lyme Disease and it was not a good experience.

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    No reason not to use both. Use the DEET on the trail to repel ticks, and treat your clothing with permethrin at home to kill ticks if they do get on your clothing.

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    I was in Shenandoah a couple of weeks ago and it was already tick city! Those of us that had done the permethrin dip had no problems, those who didn't each found at least a few. The dogs picked up dozens over the course of 4 days.

    I didn't even have to use the Deet because between my shirt and hat everything stayed away from my face and neck.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    No reason not to use both. Use the DEET on the trail to repel ticks, and treat your clothing with permethrin at home to kill ticks if they do get on your clothing.

    Permethrin is for clothing only.

    Deet is primarily for bare skin, but will work on clothing as well. It lasts for a number of hours, rather than weeks, like permethrin.

    Btw, every website I've visited regarding tick prevention suggests tucking pants into socks (obviously wearing shorts puts the hiker at greater risk, though long pants made of mosquito netting can be bought at Campmor and other outdoors out fitters). When given the choice I pick nylon over polyester because, ounce for ounce, it's stronger.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

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    [/URL]

    Mosquito netting pants.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

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    I'm somewhat concerned about having these products on me. Especially if they are cancer producing agents. I'm a cancer survivor and I don't want to go through that again. suggestions?

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    Do your research and also decide what's worse, giving up hiking, risking contracting lyme disease on your next hike, or risking getting cancer someday. As for research, it's pretty easy to do with Google Scholar.

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    You can also check out this free book. http://www.intechopen.com/books/inse...st-engineering
    Chapter 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cozy View Post
    I'm somewhat concerned about having these products on me. Especially if they are cancer producing agents. I'm a cancer survivor and I don't want to go through that again. suggestions?
    From my reading, permethrin is a safe chemical. I trust it.
    I also know that Lyme is not something you want to get.
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    That's a huge relief. Thx!

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    I am NOT an expert but I have researched both DEET and Permethrin. Below is more information:

    General:
    Permethrin for clothing / gear
    DEET for exposed skin

    Permethrin Basics:

    Clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear can be treated with a pesticide called permethrin to kill or repel insects such as mosquitoes and ticks.

    The U.S. Military has been using permethrin to treat combat uniforms for over 20 years to protect soldiers from diseases carried by insects. It’s very effective with ticks and misquotes.

    Permethrin is the only pesticide approved by the EPA for these uses. When it is applied properly, permethrin binds tightly to the fabrics, resulting in little loss during washing and minimal transfer to the skin. Permethrin is poorly absorbed through the skin, although sunscreens and other products may increase the rate of skin absorption.

    Permethrin treated clothing / gear will last UP TO 6 weeks / 6 washings. Since extensive backpacking takes an unusual toll on gear / clothing, it’s safe to predict that you’d want to treat it every 4 weeks (or more often, careful though!) for optimal effectiveness.

    It is odorless and non-staining.

    Do not apply permethrin to clothing while it is being worn.
    Apply the products outdoors in well ventilated areas that are protected from wind.
    Hang treated fabrics outdoors and allow them to dry completely before wearing them.

    Permethrin breaks down with exposure to UV light (sun) – hence do NOT dry your treatments in direct sunlight.

    Sprays contain 0.5% Permethrin, example:
    http://www.amazon.com/DurationTM-Per.../dp/B001MA2PGY
    Sprays are most common to treat your clothing and gear.

    You CAN buy Permethrin up towards 40% concentration (!) for making your own spray / treating clothing (soaking). However, you need to read the directions carefully and dilute it appropriately. If you use it in TOO strong of concentrations, it won’t help your cause and IS dangerous to your health.

    Higher concentration example
    http://www.amazon.com/36-8-Permethri.../dp/B003IMO3I2

    The military impregnates new clothing which can last up to a year (52 washings). You can NOT get this duration out of soaking your own (even new) clothing - therefore most simply spray-treat their items.


    DEET Basics:

    DEET is the active ingredient in many insect repellent products. It is used to repel biting pests such as mosquitoes and ticks.

    Do not apply over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
    Do not apply to hands or near eyes and mouth of young children.
    Do not allow young children to apply this product.
    Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing.
    Do not use under clothing.
    Avoid over-application of this product.
    After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
    Wash treated clothing before wearing it again.
    Do not spray in enclosed areas.
    To apply to face, spray on hands first and then rub on face. Do not spray directly onto face.

    DEET comes in a variety of concentrations designed to be applied directly to the skin from 4% to 100% DEET.

    The inevitable question is what concentration is best? Studies show that actually depends. BECAUSE DEET works by evaporation - to be effective, it must be applied at appropriate intervals. SO, if you are putting some on to protect you while you are at an outdoor concert, using 100% DEET once is sufficient for that event. The more complicated issue is when you are using it during hiking or extreme sweating conditions. It may be just as effective then if you use 40% every few hours. Keep in mind that you want to be concerned with over your overall health in time and not just ticks or mosquitoes for the moment.

    In understanding the use of concentration consider this: 100% DEET usage for the concert above WILL effectively protect you for a minimum of 10-12 hours after application. Less percentage = less hours of effectiveness.

    A Couple Additional Notes:

    Current suggested methods of protecting against ticks include BOTH Permethrin and DEET.

    Ticks are already spreading in record numbers on the A.T. this year. This is due to natural expansion AND is growing more so due to the warmer/wet weather. NBC and health organizations have reported on this with WARNINGS within the past 2-4 weeks. Lyme disease is expected to infect thousands of people this year.

    Studies have shown DEET effective and yet ticks can crawl through active DEET to a spot unprotected and attach just fine to feed.

    Ticks do NOT jump or soar off plants (or the ground). You have to make direct contact with ticks for them to get on you. It’s a good idea to understand what vegetation harbors ticks. (That’s another whole discussion, but you can Google it.)

    Tucking in your clothing IS HELPFUL as ticks that get on your clothing (shoes, gear, etc.) WILL climp UP (only) to find a place to attach and feed.

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    The new concern in Central Virginia is a bite from the "Lone Star" tick! Look it up on the Net!!!!!

    Many folks end up with extreme allergies to: most meat, flavoring, etc. On WSET-TV at the end of last summer an Allergy Dr said he was seeing about 1/2-doz new patients a month!

    My youngest son (age 42) was bitten by this tick and has the life altering allergies.
    Cherokee Bill ..... previously known as "billyboy"

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    Obviously not the first year or worst year for ticks. This is a media thing as much as anything else. What i use is deet when mosquitos are around nothing when they are not. I look myself over real good twice a day. The Dog tick doesn't even spread lyme and Rockey My fever is extremely rare. With the deer tick they have to have been feeding for 24 hours before the lyme bug can be transmitted. I've been in the Ct. and Ma. woods alot for years. Including 15 years living on a farm. Never got sick from a tick bit. Only have had a couple that actually filled themselves up on me and both times it was a dog tick. Deer ticks are little and black. Dog ticks bigger brown to dark brown.

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    i always wear light colored long pants, check myself regularly. use deet more for mosquitos when its bad, and i havent had anything melt on me yet.
    I was in Minnewaska st park,NY last week, picked off 2 ticks, and i cant remember ever having picked up a tick in all my years hiking there.

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    I just finished a 70 mile section hike from Bland, VA to Hwy 613 yesterday. Around Syms Meadow, north of Perisburg is found three dog ticks in a very short span. No problems in the woods but the ticks were lurking in the tall grass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    From my reading, permethrin is a safe chemical. I trust it.I also know that Lyme is not something you want to get.
    Slight correction: Permethrin is considered safe for humans and dogs. It is highly toxic to cats and fish. I would love it if I could use the stuff, but a lot vets say that permethrin shouldn't be anywhere in a household that has cats.
    "This sucks and I love it."

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