Lyme Tick Notes
What I do to stay safe: I try to stay on wide trails, but if I’m hiking in the woods I wear Permethrin treated clothes, hats, shoes, and wipe on Picaridin on bare skin. I avoid high grass and brushy borders of wooded areas if possible. Ticks climb shrubs and grasses and wait for you to brush by. Ticks like shady, damp deciduous woods. They aren’t as attracted to softwoods forests, but a deer can drop one anywhere.
When I get home, I throw the clothes I was wearing in the woods into the dryer for 10 minutes to desiccate any ticks on the clothes. Even treated clothes can harbor a tick, keeping it off your skin but bringing it into the house. I keep my treated clothes in a plastic container in my laundry room.
If in the woods for an extended time, I also bring a Tick Kit, just a plastic bag with a pointed tweezer(remove tick by gently grasping it next to the skin and pulling straight out slowly), an alcohol swab for cleaning the bite area, and a small vial or jar like the ones in travel item sets, so I can trap the tick and possible send it for testing. I also have a small round bandaid in the kit. If I find a tick I want to remove it promptly.
Another simple CRITICAL part of staying safe is to shower or bathe at the end of any day you have been out in tick habitat. Scrub well, since ticks take a while to bite you if you get one on you.
Links with General Info
NIH Lyme info, a good place to start. It has a good website list: https://medlineplus.gov/lymedisease.html
This is an informative website from Johns Hopkins: https://www.hopkinsrheumatology.org/specialty-clinics/lyme-disease-clinical-research-center/what-to-do-after-a-tick-bite/
My sister is on the Tick Committee in Dark Harbor, ME on the island of Islesboro. They have big tick problems and put together this website: http://www.ticksonislesboro.com
Outdoor Issues: Link to CDC info: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/in_the_yard.html
Great info on making a TICK KIT so you are prepared to remove one anywhere, any time. http://www.scarymommy.com/create-tick-kit-prevent-lyme-disease/?utm_source=FBOnsite
Treat with Sawyer’s Permethrin OR buy Permethrin treated clothes. Here’s an article about treating clothes.
Here are my favorite pieces of pretreated clothing so far. Availability changes so these are examples of what I’ve found:
Ex Officio Bugs Away Damsel Fly Mesh Jacket
I like it because I can wear it over a variety of shirts depending on the weather. It’s not hot.
White Sierra Bug Free Campfire Pants
I like them because they are long but VERY lightweight for summer and you could wear them to a party!
Toad and Co Debug Range Pants. Great hiking pants.
I have a few other items from these 2 manufacturers: a tee shirt and a long sleeved shirt as well as a hoodie pullover.
Then every 6 weeks I spray knee socks, Bog gardening boots, and hat with Sawyer’s Permethrin, and I’m “covered” literally.
I use Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent 20% Picaridin Spray on skin if needed. Consumer Reports rates DEET products a little better, but other sources say Picaridin lasts longer than DEET and also Picaridin is safer for young children.
Skin Sprays – Consumer Reports latest info:
Latest Testing results from 2017: http://www.consumerreports.org/products/insect-repellent/ratings-overview/