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How to Avoid Ticks: More Lyme Cases Expected This Year

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March 23, 2012
How to Avoid Ticks: More Lyme Cases Expected This Year - 7

Remember the bumper crop of acorns back in 2010? In many places, you couldn’t walk outside without crunching them under foot. And as disjointed as it may seem, some experts are blaming the mast crop for the big rise in tick population (and Lyme disease) that are expected this year, reports foxnews.com.

How can the acorns govern the tick population? Apparently, the mouse population is the real culprit. White footed mice and deer mice populations exploded with so much food on the ground over the winter of 2010, providing a lot of furry, warm real estate for the tick numbers to bloom.

But this past winter was not so generous on the acorns and other tree nuts, creating a sharp decline in the number of mice, which has left a lot of hungry ticks looking for their next meal (i.e. you and me). This cycle has been seen before. In 2006, there was a large acorn crop, followed by a poor acorn crop in 2007. Black-legged ticks reached a 20-year high after that “boom and bust” cycle.

Take The Right Precautions

To avoid the ticks and the diseases they carry (more than just Lyme’s), follow this advice:

* Dope up your clothes heavily with bug repellent. Use the strongest stuff you can buy and feel good about using, conventional or all natural. Use DEET on your skin (yes, it’s poisonous), or use permethrin on your clothing (yes, it’s more poisonous), or use the finest essential oil bug repellent available (which is probably less poisonous than the previously mentioned products, but also less effective).

* Finally, check yourself often for ticks—at least once a day. Especially check in your crevices, nether regions, belly buttons, underarms, the back of your knees, and areas where your clothing is tight against your skin, like your waistband and the top of your socks. Use a mirror or have someone special check for ticks in all the places you cannot directly view.

* Avoid areas where ticks are most common, like tall grass and thick leaf litter. Walk in the center of trails whenever possible, to minimize your contact with the vegetation.

* To avoid bringing ticks into your home, toss your dirty outdoor clothing in the dryer on high heat to kill the ticks and prevent them from escaping your unattended laundry hamper.

If you do find a tick biting you, carefully pull it straight out using tweezers to grasp the tick’s head. Or, better yet, use a specialized tick removing tool, available at your local camping store.

Comments (7)

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from TheBack9 3/30/2012 at 10:32am

Upstate NY...out scouting for Turkey season. 4 ticks on me in the woods...when I got home my wife found 6 more. Actually has me wondering about the hours being in the woods for turkey season....not to mention opening of trout season this weekend.

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from bberg7794 3/29/2012 at 11:24am

In addition to the recommendations in the article, I like to quarantine my outdoor clothing and go immediately into the shower after returning home during tick season. I keep tweezers in my survival kit as well as in my bathroom. Remember to grab the tick gently with your tweezers as close to its mouth as possible and pull gently also. Do not grab the tick by its abdomen and don't be in a hurry.

A hunter safety instructor recently told a local class that the you can cover the tick in Vaseline and the tick will begin to suffocate and release from your skin. He was unsure how long this would take. Any verification from medical personnel on this one?

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from Bob Hansen 3/26/2012 at 03:00pm

Hi...

Good advice, Tim.

And as one who has had Lyme Disease, I would also recommend pulling your socks up over your pants' cuffs...and taping your socks to the cuffs. Also, tape your buttoned-down shirt sleeve cuffs.

You just can't be too careful. Remember, I've gone through it.

You might be surprised to know that you can get those tick bites simply by relaxing on your front lawn...!!

Regarding DEET, I won't use it on my body...as I know that stuff will actually dissolve paint...!! (personal experience).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jnelson64 3/25/2012 at 08:47pm

Ive taken these precautions just about everyday in the summer. Working in the outdoors tracking wildlife will definitely increase your chances. Such as 52 (none attached) on me at one time chance...sometimes no matter how much you try, your SOL.

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from JM 3/25/2012 at 07:17pm

I had one on me earlier this year - luckily it was still on my sock.

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from Johnnie 3/25/2012 at 06:41pm

We have three dogs, so far this year I pulled three ticks off one dog, one tick off a second dog, but no ticks off the third dog....yet. This is just the first good week of warm weather.

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from MNwhitetailHunter 3/24/2012 at 08:50am

Great. that will add to the tick hotpot i hunt around :(

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from Bob Hansen 3/26/2012 at 03:00pm

Hi...

Good advice, Tim.

And as one who has had Lyme Disease, I would also recommend pulling your socks up over your pants' cuffs...and taping your socks to the cuffs. Also, tape your buttoned-down shirt sleeve cuffs.

You just can't be too careful. Remember, I've gone through it.

You might be surprised to know that you can get those tick bites simply by relaxing on your front lawn...!!

Regarding DEET, I won't use it on my body...as I know that stuff will actually dissolve paint...!! (personal experience).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNwhitetailHunter 3/24/2012 at 08:50am

Great. that will add to the tick hotpot i hunt around :(

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Johnnie 3/25/2012 at 06:41pm

We have three dogs, so far this year I pulled three ticks off one dog, one tick off a second dog, but no ticks off the third dog....yet. This is just the first good week of warm weather.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JM 3/25/2012 at 07:17pm

I had one on me earlier this year - luckily it was still on my sock.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jnelson64 3/25/2012 at 08:47pm

Ive taken these precautions just about everyday in the summer. Working in the outdoors tracking wildlife will definitely increase your chances. Such as 52 (none attached) on me at one time chance...sometimes no matter how much you try, your SOL.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 3/29/2012 at 11:24am

In addition to the recommendations in the article, I like to quarantine my outdoor clothing and go immediately into the shower after returning home during tick season. I keep tweezers in my survival kit as well as in my bathroom. Remember to grab the tick gently with your tweezers as close to its mouth as possible and pull gently also. Do not grab the tick by its abdomen and don't be in a hurry.

A hunter safety instructor recently told a local class that the you can cover the tick in Vaseline and the tick will begin to suffocate and release from your skin. He was unsure how long this would take. Any verification from medical personnel on this one?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheBack9 3/30/2012 at 10:32am

Upstate NY...out scouting for Turkey season. 4 ticks on me in the woods...when I got home my wife found 6 more. Actually has me wondering about the hours being in the woods for turkey season....not to mention opening of trout season this weekend.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

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