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Posted by Sean on November 25, 2001 at 13:08:52:
There is one thing that thwarts my enthusiasm to go herping in NJ...TICKS! Last year my friend and I could have easily picked up several hundred ticks over the course of the spring/summer. One day alone in the pine barrens we both counted over 30 ticks each...in just about 1 hour(I had 31, friend had 36), that day we said forget this lets go home. So tell me what do you do to avoid ticks?
Here is what I do, ALWAYS wear long pants, light colored jeans preferably. I wear light colors to see the little buggers crawling up my legs. ALWAYS tuck my white t-shirt into my pants, otherwise they crawl up your shirt when they get to your belt line. I trim my hair very short, even then, the chances of spotting a tiny pin-head sized tick is slim to none. And boots, always tuck my pant legs into the boots. My next precaution is to spray my boot laces(ticks love to hide in laces) and my legs and belt line with tick spray. While this doesnt work well, it does reduce the amount of ticks you will get, but not totally abolish the chances of picking them up. And as a final precaution I will glance down at my pant legs every few minutes or so, maybe every 50 feet hiking. And of course, as soon as you get home, check yourself, take a shower, comb through your hair etc.
I also thought that throwing clothes into the washer/dryer as soon as you get home will kill the ticks...apparantly not. I got home one time, washed & dried my clothes, and when I was taking my clothes out of the dryer I clenched my clothing in my arms against my chest, I had no shirt on. When I brought the clothing to my room and plopped it down, a tick was crawling up my chest...he LIVED through the washer! After that point, I leave my clothing outside my house for a day before touching it.
So what do you do? Any tips/tricks to avoid ticks? What kind of spray do you use? I use OFF, but that stuff doesnt work too great.
If its one thing I hate, its ticks, its the one thing that makes me stay inside some days instead of herping. Even with all these precautions my friend did end up getting Lymes Disease last summer. Happily he caught it early and took the medicine. But I would prefer to totally avoid that situation.