[CT Birds] TICKS

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Thu Jun 1 17:19:00 EDT 2017

If you read nothing else, read the last paragraph, because  that's the real 
point of this post. 
Since I've been birding I have just accepted ticks of all kinds  as just 
one of the hazards of being outdoors. I was relatively easy for me,  since 
years ago when i was more of a hiker I had to cope with the same  problems. I 
don't like them but I live with them. 
But this year is different. 
My solution has always been simply to do frequent tick checks  when ever in 
the woods or brushy/grassy areas and again as soon as I get home  and can 
strip down. Even so, I've been bitten by 2 dog ticks this year. I will  tell 
you first hand that DEET does nothing to deter them, and other mosquito  
type repellents even less. I've been told that some "natural" remedies work, 
but  I'll let others trust them. 
If you get a tick on your pants watch it for a moment before  you dispose 
of it. You will be amazed at how fast they sometimes climb up your  leg. 
Within a minute or two they can be at your waist band, and if you have an  
untucked shirt, that means on your upper body skin in another minute or so. 
And of course, If your pants are untucked they may climb up  under them as 
well. That's even worse. I know. 
They can even be up high enough in the brush that they can drop  down on 
your head, neck and shoulders too, but for me that has been rare.  However I 
just met someone the other day who had 2 on the back of her neck,  inside her 
I am NOT trying scare everyone indoors for the summer. It's not  pleasant 
but I deal with it, and so can you. 
Here's what I always do and what I am doing this year. Number  one is 
frequent tick checks, as above. If you are in a brushy or grassy area  that means 
at least every 5 minutes or so, particularly if you have been moving  
around. While I do believe that most ticks jump from brush, etc, I think they  
also jump from the ground, because I have found many while I was in a 
completely  open area with no vegetation more than 6 inches or so high. Usually they 
are  just a few inches above pants cuffs in that case.
This may also work for you, but I don't do it. Tuck your pants  in your 
socks. It is often recommended but I find it very uncomfortable and they  
usually pull out quickly.
I travel a lot out west and chiggers are the biggest problem  there, but 
there is one solution that works for both. PERMETHRIN. You don't ever  put it 
on yourself. Treat your clothing and let it dry. I treat my pants and  
socks. It's easy to find, Walmart sells it, but its a little cheaper and in  
larger quantities online (Amazon, etc., brand name I use is Sawyer). I have  
finally broken down and treated my clothes now for ticks and will continue this 
 year unless the problem abates. It's easy to use, sprays on, and will last 
up to  6 weeks through 4 washings, or so they say. I've never had damage of 
any kind to  clothing and once dry, no smell either. Permethrin doesn't 
just repel ticks. If  they come in contact it will actually kill them. Good 
stuff. If you plan to be  out a lot, try it. If you can afford them, places 
like LL Bean even sell  clothing that is supposedly permanently treated. 
Don Morgan
Coventry,  Ct

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