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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    The trick with ticks is to keep them from getting to the point they can latch on.
    Sprayed on permethrin absolutely works.
    Nothing works 100%.

    #1) Keep the buggers from getting where the would like to latch on.

    So, don't give them any chance of getting under your cloths and next to your skin. Best solution would be long pants tucked into socks, in shoes, with dirty-girl gaiters, or the like, all sprayed with permethrin. That way they don't have a direct path to your skin and you're killing them before they have a chance to get very far.

    Compression shorts are a popular solution for many people to hike in.

    Boxer briefs should also work well as they are tight on your leg, keeping the ticks out of the warm, moist, dark areas they love most to borrow into.

    I would not recommend actually treating your underwear, although many people do, without issue, against manufacturers recommendations.
    By and large, ticks don't crawl under cloths that are stretchy and against the skin. They crawl through opportunistic gaps.
    Boxer briefs are well, in between boxers and briefs. In most cases, looser than briefs and less bunchy and somewhat tighter than boxers. Even though hikers may have Adonis legs, the synthetic boxer briefs still tend to have some looseness in the legs as they get stretched there. If ticks get up under your pants, even with compression shorts, they will climb up to the obstruction and bite you there or go past it if they can. I mainly wear boxer briefs, but when younger before boxer briefs the times I have had a tick imbed, the tick crawled up to the ribbing on the briefs (cotton), right at the base where the cheek meets the leg and dug in. Tighter underclothes can be helpful to identify where they aren't as likely though.

    Stay out of brush as mentioned as much as possible.

    I had never heard of that chigger stuff either, good to know.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
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  2. #42

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    Way back in the mid 20th century we used to put sulfur in our pants cuffs for chiggers.It worked.

  3. #43
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    Sulfur? I bet it kept more than just ticks away.

  4. #44

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    Way back then you would go to a drugstore and they sold a small blue and white box with sulfur in it.I have no idea what other people used it for but we used it to keep chiggers off when we went fishing or camping.However,I did heal up some sort of dermatological mange looking issue on my horse once by mixing sulfur and Crisco vegetable shortening together and rubbing it in.Worked just fine.

  5. #45
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    I've hiked 1847 miles of the AT, Springer to Crawford Notch. I wear the Columbia Silver Ridge long hiking pants, treated with Permethrin...no ticks as of yet. I'm guessing it would be harder to remain tick free wearing short pants...JMO...
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH NH to ME 2021 ???

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimqpublic View Post
    I'm from California. Backpacking in the Sierra has spoiled me- once you're above about 5,000 feet there is no poison oak, about 7,000 feet and no ticks, about 8,000 and no rattlesnakes. Mosquitos and the occasional bear are manageable. Every time I think I'll do a trip wearing long pants it fails by day 2 and I finish the trip wearing my swim trunks. I can wear a long sleeve shirt but the thighs really need ventilation.

    Ticks and Lyme disease scare me more than anything else about hiking the AT. (Hot, humid weather is a close 2nd)

    On to the question- With permethrin-treated socks and boxer briefs under shorts, and deet or picaridin on my legs will I be safe from ticks? I get a tic just thinking about ticks.
    Anecdotally, treating socks and shorts will improve your chances a lot (I haven't bothered with deet). While wearing shorts that have been treated, along with socks and shirt, I have not found a tick on me (going through PA) through about 15 days on the trail during warm weather. A friend on 4 day hike with untreated clothes found 3 in short period. This is obviously a very small sample, so take it for what it's worth.

  7. #47
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    Someone mentioned shaving hair on the legs earlier and I wanted to chime in. I've done quite a bit of late spring, early fall backpacking in Florida, specifically the Ocala National Forest which is infamous for biting critters. I think last time I went out, I was using DEET but it was an older bottle so I think it probably didn't do much good. The ticks were insane--most were very small too. One campsite in particular, near Hopkins Prairie, pretty much every time I put my feet on the ground I would find at least one scuttling up my shoelaces. I got very tuned into checking every little tickle on my body, whether sweat or just a cool breeze.

    To the leg hair, I find that if I pay close attention to my legs, I can usually feel the little bastards climbing up my leg because of all the hair. Just bare skin is less sensitive IMO. Of course, ymmv. Long pants, in my case, are not an option unless temps are 50 or below.
    "I am learning nothing in this trivial world of [humans]. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news." --John Muir

  8. #48

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    We've used permetherin on the Maine AT during June-July with good results. This weekend we're going to the Columbia Gorge, WA, known for bad ticks. So we're using permetherin soaked long pants, gaitors, and long shirt, and we will tuck pants into gaitors. We don't soak socks or underwear. So we soak the clothes, let them dry, then launder once before use. I buy strong permetherin and dilute as per instructions (1/4 cup per gallon water), then apply with large spray bottle.

  9. #49
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    i used chigg away in the military for chiggers they always in large grass areas. Nevr thought to use it on the AT. Permathin yes. I picked up a tick from a day hiike this week.. I need to treat my cloths this year.
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  10. #50
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    Seems like I have to post this every year as people dont do serious research when they want to solve a problem.

    First off, permerthin has a long history of safe use and is in fact prescribed as a treatment for scabbies in INFANTS at 10x(5%) the clothing treatment concentration. Thats applied directly to the skin as a lotion, so if you are worried about ticks in your nether regions and are not treating underwear you are being overly cautious. I find treated exterior clothing to be so effective treating underwear is not necessary but if you experience dense tick populations I'd consider the risk/benefit as worth it. If you are not sure about your upcoming exposure- carry a 3-4oz spray bottle to treat underwear on the trail, it will also be a great conversation starter at shelters while you dry them.

    Yes it is toxic in heavy concentrations and you are most likely to get an excessive "dose" by inhaling aerosol spray and while mixing concentrate. So if spraying clothing, do so with proper ventilation. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/IDE...permethrin.pdf

    Second, you can find videos online of ticks being exposed to proper concentrations of permetherin and they act like they have been exposed to a nerve agent. I see this behavior on the trail, pretty much immediately upon contact with treated clothing they loose motor control and soon fall off.

    If you dont see this happen, I'd wager your treatment is somehow failing. My main theory for how this can happen is poor penetration/saturation caused by l water repellency of many fibers used in trail clothing. I see that with mine- it wants to bead up rather than penetrate. So you have to do what ever it takes to get a good coating so it wets out the fabric. Spraying usually takes multiple passes with time between to see the entire garment wet. This tendency is also likely aggravated by those who fear permetherin thinking to avoid "exposure" with minimal applications, dont drink it or smoke it and you'll be fine. And of course despite the claims for withstanding multiple washings, its certainly not going to help your protection by washing some or all of it off, so consider at least touching up your application after washing.

    Here is some info on what the military did to establish the safety and efficacy of permetherin.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231561/

    Tips- Permertherin has a good shelf life(3-5 years as a concentrate) so if you hike much, buy concentrate and mix it your self(wear gloves) a quart of 36% cost about the same as a quart of Sawyer .5%. Concentrate is often available at local farm supply stores.

    Once applied and dried you are dealing with a particulate on the fabric- which means if you are going to wear the same clothes for a month its going to wear off and be affected by sweat too. I have no advice on that situation as I only go 3-4 days on a set of clothes regardless of how long I'm out which means at a minimum I wash/rinse them. With the Sawyer claim of 6 machine washings, I figure 3 rinses is about all one should expect to not impact effectiveness on the trail.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Yeah you're never gonna be completely safe from ticks even in winter most of the time as you need 10 days or more of below 30 degrees for them to "hibernate ".

    You want something else to worry about Google the lone star tick
    Coming to a woods near you soon.
    Everyone might think this is a joke but one time in the middle of December on a trip I found a tick on my butt. It turned out to be a dog tick. I had to wonder at the time since it was 19 degrees!

  12. #52
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    Steven Colbert has been running a series of video clips asking famous people certain questions, one of which is what animal is the scariest. Answers have ranged from sharks to snakes, to spiders. What comes to my mind when I hear that question is not bears or cougars, or snakes, but the humble tick!

    Having moved to Alaska recently, it is surprisingly refreshing to be walking off trail and keep realizing that I don't need to be tick aware. It's a really, really nice change. Somehow I'd rather deal with the bears and moose than ticks.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post
    Seems like I have to post this every year as people dont do serious research when they want to solve a problem.

    First off, permerthin has a long history of safe use and is in fact prescribed as a treatment for scabbies in INFANTS at 10x(5%) the clothing treatment concentration. Thats applied directly to the skin as a lotion, so if you are worried about ticks in your nether regions and are not treating underwear you are being overly cautious. I find treated exterior clothing to be so effective treating underwear is not necessary but if you experience dense tick populations I'd consider the risk/benefit as worth it. If you are not sure about your upcoming exposure- carry a 3-4oz spray bottle to treat underwear on the trail, it will also be a great conversation starter at shelters while you dry them.

    Yes it is toxic in heavy concentrations and you are most likely to get an excessive "dose" by inhaling aerosol spray and while mixing concentrate. So if spraying clothing, do so with proper ventilation. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/IDE...permethrin.pdf

    Second, you can find videos online of ticks being exposed to proper concentrations of permetherin and they act like they have been exposed to a nerve agent. I see this behavior on the trail, pretty much immediately upon contact with treated clothing they loose motor control and soon fall off.

    If you dont see this happen, I'd wager your treatment is somehow failing. My main theory for how this can happen is poor penetration/saturation caused by l water repellency of many fibers used in trail clothing. I see that with mine- it wants to bead up rather than penetrate. So you have to do what ever it takes to get a good coating so it wets out the fabric. Spraying usually takes multiple passes with time between to see the entire garment wet. This tendency is also likely aggravated by those who fear permetherin thinking to avoid "exposure" with minimal applications, dont drink it or smoke it and you'll be fine. And of course despite the claims for withstanding multiple washings, its certainly not going to help your protection by washing some or all of it off, so consider at least touching up your application after washing.

    Here is some info on what the military did to establish the safety and efficacy of permetherin.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231561/

    Tips- Permertherin has a good shelf life(3-5 years as a concentrate) so if you hike much, buy concentrate and mix it your self(wear gloves) a quart of 36% cost about the same as a quart of Sawyer .5%. Concentrate is often available at local farm supply stores.

    Once applied and dried you are dealing with a particulate on the fabric- which means if you are going to wear the same clothes for a month its going to wear off and be affected by sweat too. I have no advice on that situation as I only go 3-4 days on a set of clothes regardless of how long I'm out which means at a minimum I wash/rinse them. With the Sawyer claim of 6 machine washings, I figure 3 rinses is about all one should expect to not impact effectiveness on the trail.
    I take it your using the tractor supply concentrate? Did you know the ratios for mix and water? Thank you try and save a few dollors this year...
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  14. #54
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    The military study in Crossup’s link is all on safety vs efficacy. It is generally reassuring in that regard. But not much there as to whether it works. Insect Shield’s “about us” section references a West Point test that dropped incidents of Lyme https://www.insectshield.com/pages/company-background

    I’d guess that is legit, but just a guess. They reference quite a bit of mosquito testing that seems pretty rigorous, but just one short 6 month, 16 subject field test regarding ticks. Still I’m inclined to think it is effective.

  15. #55
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    No I got mine at a local non chain store which was an odd one- a farm store in a city without a huge amount of farm land. Anyway thats Bowens in Annapolis.

    I should also apologize for miss information- its actually a pint of 36% cost the same as a quart of Sawyer .5% so its only 36x cheaper not 72.
    Now I live down in your part of the world and plenty of farm stores around including Tractor supply.
    Ratios are easy, to go from 36% to .5% you are diluting 72x. Since you likely only need a quart at a time you might want to mix up either an intermediate solution like say one ounce 36% with 10 ounces water then mix the resulting 3.6% solution with 7.2x water. Otherwise to get only a quart you will need .444(32/72) ounces of concentrate. Alternatively mix up a 72 or 144 ounce batch using 1 or 2 ounces of concentrate. For convenience sake and to minimize confusion I refer to batches by the volume of water. In reality you add the water so a 72 ounce batch is 72 ounces H2O + one ounce of concentrate or 73oz.

    I keep it simple mixing up 72 ounce batches in a gallon jug. Keep in mind these ratios are recommendations not set in stone- as long as you are .5% or above you are protected. I see nothing wrong with mixing up an ounce to 64 ounces water for a slightly stronger solution and more convenient measuring/storage.

    I go with the minimum .5% as I'm still doing mid atlantic sections and there is not a lot of places where you are exposed to ticks on the trail, its mostly in camp and small sections of trail. In 500 miles of trail I've only had a few ticks on me and they were busy dying. I worry more mowing the lawn unprotected. One of our dogs had a tick on his ear last week but it too was DOA.

    As for saving money does it get any better than paying 1/36 as much? I love how a little common sense can yield huge savings...and if you have hiking buddies you can share one bottle of concentrate and get years of protection for the price of a burger.
    Quote Originally Posted by hobbs View Post
    I take it your using the tractor supply concentrate? Did you know the ratios for mix and water? Thank you try and save a few dollors this year...

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post

    Second, you can find videos online of ticks being exposed to proper concentrations of permetherin and they act like they have been exposed to a nerve agent. I see this behavior on the trail, pretty much immediately upon contact with treated clothing they loose motor control and soon fall off.
    This has been my observation as well. I've watched ticks start crawling on my permethrin-treated pants or gaiters and they seem to become "paralyzed" quickly and then fall off.

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