PSA: Check for Ticks

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cedica
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by cedica »

ekalina wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:18 pm On a different note, I've heard both permethrin (on clothing) and deet (on skin, I guess) can be used to repel ticks. Has anyone tried those? How well do they work?
I unscientifically believe that DEET is freaking poison. I've had no option but to use it daily for about six months when I was 18 and pretty much ruined my skin. Plus I felt sick for months after that.

Picaridin from Sawyer felt pretty harmless in comparison on exposed skin, and it worked for me so far. Never tried Permethrin, but it sounds a bit like overkill for ticks. Light colored long sleeves and pants in combination with dorky fashion sense (shirt tucked in pants and pants tucked in socks) work pretty good in ticks infested areas - added bonus is that chicks dig the look too. I believe that bushwhacking through shrubs and trees is the easiest way to acquire ticks on your head, back or other areas of body where you can't notice them quickly before they migrate under your clothing. Not sitting on grass and piles of leaves also helps. But I'm talking about East Coast precaution measures, I could be mistaken but chances of collecting ticks in CO are smaller by the factor of ten or so.
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Dave B
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by Dave B »

I just pulled two off of me after spending the morning working in one of the burned catchments in the Poudre. Really kind of surprised, that catchment was nuked, can't believe those creepy little assholes somehow survived.
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timisimaginary
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by timisimaginary »

ticks are dicks

i do more running than hiking on trails these days. when i hiked more, i always treated my clothes with permethrin, and stuck with long pants, even during the hottest part of summer (East Coast resident). the pants are a no-go for running though, so i've gotten accustomed to spraying myself down with picaridin (which i prefer to deet) on all exposed skin, particularly legs, arms, waist beneath shirt, and along the shirt collar. still use permethrin on all clothes, but it's not as useful when there's so much exposed skin. i also shower and scrub down after every hike or run, most ticks don't attach themselves for at least 24 hours and washing/scrubbing may remove them before they have the chance.

also, a tick has to be attached for several hours before it can transmit lyme (not sure about other tick-borne diseases). if you find one attached, there are places like this where you can send it for testing: https://www.tickcheck.com/
here on the East Coast, if you find an attached tick, remove it properly, send it for testing, and in the meantime, visit an urgent care and they'll give you a single-dose antibiotic designed to prevent Lyme. then watch the site and look for the tell-tale ring rash, or any other Lyme symptoms that might require a more extended antibiotic regimen.
unfortunately, the ticks on the East Coast that transmit Lyme are deer ticks, which are barely the size of a pinhead. you usually won't see them until they've become attached and engorged, and if it's in a hard-to-see location, it might drop off before you ever realize you had one. so if you spend a lot of time outside, it's always a good idea, if you start experiencing Lyme symptoms, to assume you had one at some point and get treated. Lyme caught early is much more treatable than chronic Lyme that went undetected for too long.
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greenonion
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by greenonion »

nyker wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 3:25 pm Very weird, I was just thinking about this subject...as I pulled two ticks off me this week from the local woods. Hate these things. :evil: :cussing:

Aside from not going out and wearing light clothes, anyone have any solid preventative measures that have worked for them? Certain repellants, taping cuffs, etc?
Given how some folks wrap their vehicles in tarp to avoid marmots I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on the trails this summer to avoid ticks. Michelin Man comes to mind.
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greenonion
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by greenonion »

timisimaginary wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 4:22 pm ticks are dicks

i do more running than hiking on trails these days. when i hiked more, i always treated my clothes with permethrin, and stuck with long pants, even during the hottest part of summer (East Coast resident). the pants are a no-go for running though, so i've gotten accustomed to spraying myself down with picaridin (which i prefer to deet) on all exposed skin, particularly legs, arms, waist beneath shirt, and along the shirt collar. still use permethrin on all clothes, but it's not as useful when there's so much exposed skin. i also shower and scrub down after every hike or run, most ticks don't attach themselves for at least 24 hours and washing/scrubbing may remove them before they have the chance.

also, a tick has to be attached for several hours before it can transmit lyme (not sure about other tick-borne diseases). if you find one attached, there are places like this where you can send it for testing: https://www.tickcheck.com/
here on the East Coast, if you find an attached tick, remove it properly, send it for testing, and in the meantime, visit an urgent care and they'll give you a single-dose antibiotic designed to prevent Lyme. then watch the site and look for the tell-tale ring rash, or any other Lyme symptoms that might require a more extended antibiotic regimen.
unfortunately, the ticks on the East Coast that transmit Lyme are deer ticks, which are barely the size of a pinhead. you usually won't see them until they've become attached and engorged, and if it's in a hard-to-see location, it might drop off before you ever realize you had one. so if you spend a lot of time outside, it's always a good idea, if you start experiencing Lyme symptoms, to assume you had one at some point and get treated. Lyme caught early is much more treatable than chronic Lyme that went undetected for too long.
Excellent info. Thanks for sharing. I’ve heard the same about early treatment can be successful long term and vice versa.
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IntrepidXJ
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by IntrepidXJ »

I found a tick on me for the very first time ever on Sunday after spending the weekend in Dinosaur National Monument.
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by AnnaG22 »

WE HATES IT PRECIOUS.

Ticks are the worst life form. Every last one of them deserves to be killed with fire.

Also reasons we need more opossums.
"The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had the eyes to see." -Ed Abbey

"I get scared sometimes—lots of times—but it's not bad. You know? I feel close to myself. When I'm out there at night, I feel close to my own body, I can feel my blood moving, my skin and my fingernails, everything, it's like I'm full of electricity and I'm glowing in the dark—I'm on fire almost—I'm burning away into nothing—but it doesn't matter because I know exactly who I am." from The Things They Carried
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by Teresa Gergen »

I haven't had good luck spraying my clothes with Sawyer permethrin, but soaking them thoroughly in this product, wringing them out, and then letting them dry thoroughly so it bonds with the fibers of the clothing does a decent job. Supposed to last 6 weeks or 6 washings. Do it outdoors, and wear household cleaning gloves. Still see a few on my clothes, but they do tend to fall off after a bit.
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ekalina
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by ekalina »

Thanks for the info, Teresa and Tim. I think I will try out the permethrin soak for my clothes and picaridin on skin. I have been lucky to avoid any embedded ticks thus far (that I know of), but it has to be only a matter of time with continued bushwhacking.
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Wentzl
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by Wentzl »

cedica wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:05 pm Finally a topic where East Coast hikers can feel like having substantial expertise. Conspiracy theories about ticks here are of QAnon or LoveHasWon magnitude:
https://sites.newpaltz.edu/ticktalk/soc ... a-dumitru/
Had to respond to cheer my alma mater (Go New Paltz!) and because I grew up on Long Island Sound. While I was aware of Plum Island, I had never heard about the dark history of Plum Island. (handicapped growing up pre internet)

On topic, I only once found tics after a hike here on the Western Slope. It was when I went far off trail following a creek between Ridgway and Ouray. Other than that, no tics in 25 years.
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Scott P
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by Scott P »

Wentzl wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 5:59 pm
On topic, I only once found tics after a hike here on the Western Slope. It was when I went far off trail following a creek between Ridgway and Ouray. Other than that, no tics in 25 years.
I've heard a lot of people say that, but I find them several times a year on the West Slope. Not sure why? Maybe I hike though more grass than sagebrush than most? I don't know.

They are especially thick in the Book Cliffs and Colorado National Monument.
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headsizeburrito
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Re: PSA: Check for Ticks

Post by headsizeburrito »

I moved from VA to CO to get away from the ticks! (also, you know, the mountains) When I was there I had several attach but found and removed them quickly. I bought a "tick key" but it was useless on small ticks that are caught early and not engorged. Careful tweezer use is pretty effective at getting them out, followed by cleaning the site with alcohol and careful monitoring for symptoms.

Lyme is a scary disease and there is still a lot of conflicting info about it. When caught quickly and treated properly it can last only a short time and cause no lasting harm, but there is talk of it potentially becoming chronic as well. It's a little unclear how common it is and it seems to be a contested diagnosis/condition but I know a woman diagnosed with "chronic Lymes" that has caused occasional symptoms for decades. I've heard theories that undiagnosed Lyme in places where it is widespread is likely a much larger problem than generally recognized and could be partly responsible for a lot of chronic health problems in some areas.

When I was being proactive in VA I used picaridin lotion on the skin and sprayed clothing/shoes with DEET. Permetherin is less nasty and considered more effective than DEET in treating clothing, but I bought some and was too paranoid to use it because it's highly toxic to cats when wet (but safe for them once dry). You can also send your own clothing to be professionally treated, it's somewhat common among AT thru hikers for example:

https://www.insectshield.com/pages/inse ... ur-clothes

There used to be a vaccine that was pulled for questionable reasons, though still available for dogs. Another is apparently undergoing human trials but might still be a few years out.

More reasons to hike above treeline! :lol:
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