Thursday, June 04, 2009

I wanna check you for ticks...

I was asked to blog a little bit about ticks.  To begin, I feel it is necessary to provide some musical accompaniment.  

On a more serious note, ticks really are a major cause for concern.  There are a number of tick borne illnesses (including the most famous: Lyme disease).  

So how on earth do you keep them off of you? 

I may not be the best person to ask as I have found over 35 ticks on me this year (different species but mostly the black-legged variety).  However, this was all pre-permethrin.  Permethrin (or Permanone as called by Repel with the active ingredient of Permethrin) is the best thing to use for tick prevention.  Unlike deet (a popular active ingredient in insect repellent) permethrin actually KILLS and REPELS ticks.  Most studys show that deet repels mosquitoes but does very little to ticks, while permethrin repels and kills both ticks and mosquitoes.  

Permethrin based products are pretty easy to use.  They're applied directly to your clothing.  It lasts about 6 weeks with regular washing.  While the makers suggest applying it to a full set of clothing I generally apply it to my pants and socks.  You also want to make sure you focus on key areas like the waist, ankles, etc.  It takes a few hours to dry so you have to think ahead a bit.  

Since using permethrin I haven't found a tick on me.  I cannot contribute this all to the repellent as ticks were out in greater hatch numbers earlier when I was only using deet.  

Just because you use permethrin does not mean you should stop checking yourself for ticks.  This should be regular practice for anyone who spends time in the woods, or even their yard if in a rural setting.  Inspecting yourself for bulls-eye rashes and being aware of the symptoms of tick borne illnesses (and mosquito borne illnesses) is also a must for any nature/outdoors lover.  


Andy said...

I recently became aware of permethrin treated clothing.
I bought factory treated socks and pants. I also treated my backpack and shoes with spray.
My outings have been a complete success with no ticks. I am sold on this stuff.

dAwN said...

I must pick some of that up! Thanks for the info...

do you know if the body absorbs any of the Permethrin and if it is dangerous? would you know if you wash other clothes with the impregnated clothes will it effect them at all?

Look forward to meeting you this weekend.