Monday, June 5, 2017

Tick Tock...Tick Talk..

Yes, sports fans, 'tis time once again for our annual Tick Talk.
If you've ever hiked in Tick Country, you well know about the scourge of ticks. Ticks are serious stuff. They carry wicked diseases, including the dreaded Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease can be Life Changing to some people. Ticks scare us worse than bears.  Why?  Well, your chances of having a life-changing encounter with a bear are very  slim.  However, every time you hike in Tick Country, you are literally risking a life-changing experience.  You can carry bear spray for the bruins and it works quite well.  But how do handle ba-zillions of ticks?

Before we get into talking a "tick solution" (literally), we'd like to scare you some more with tick stuff from the experts including Center For Disease Control, Mayo Clinic and the Lyme Disease Association.

OK, now that you are sufficiently impressed with just what kind of really bad things can happen to you from ticks, it's time to talk the absolute best Tick defense: Permethrin. If you venture into Tick Country, you really need to get yourself some Permethrin and learn how to use it properly. Here are two decent resources on Permethrin:
As we prep to head to Tick Country this week, we're getting all our clothes treated and ready to wear. Here's the Amazon link (shortened) to the best deal on bulk Permethrin. We have been using this concentrate for 4 years.
Here's how we use it.  First, we prepare a very dilute solution similar to the concentration sold by Sawyer.  We make up 3 gallons and place the 3 gallons in a five gallon pickle bucket.  We then place ALL of our hiking clothing (including socks and underwear) in this solution and let the clothing items sit for at least 12 hours.  The idea is to impregnate every molecule of every thread with the permethrin.  We use rubber gloves on our hands to hand wring each of the clothing items.  We put them on a line to air dry outside. We carry some of the  dilute solution in a spray bottle so we can spray our boots before each hike.  We wear calf-length socks and use velcro to close up our pant legs at the ankles.  If we are in Heavy Tick County, we wear cheap-o cotton gloves purchased at the dollar store.  We also wear a cotton scarf and a wide brim hat.  ALL items we wear are soaked in the solution.

This stuff just doesn't repel ticks, it kills them on contact with the treated clothing. We haven't had a tick on us ever since we started using this method.

Permethrin is safe to most mammals except cats.  It can be lethal for cats.  You can begin reading up about permethrin here:

DISCLAIMER: Use at your own risk. We consider permethrin to be safe.  However, user discretion is advised and recommended. The information here is presented solely as our own personal opinion and does not constitute medical advice.  Consult available technical resources and consider asking your physician if permethrin is safe for you.

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