Apr 18, 2020 at 5:50 am #3641884carl vSpectator
Maybe it is a bit paranoid:) Would ticks be able to bite through noseeum mesh? I have a borah bivy and my sleeping style will have me touching the mesh.
Tnx!!Apr 18, 2020 at 10:41 am #3641916William ChiltonBPL Member
Ticks bury their heads under your skin and then stay fastened for hours so I’d say no.Apr 18, 2020 at 10:58 pm #3642030
They crawl around unnoticed a while before selecting a place to bite. Don’t get how they could crawl through noseeum mesh. Don’t think their pincers can cut the mesh, but if it is a concern, switch from polyester to nylon mesh, and get the advantage of less patching.
There are nymph ticks when they first breed (can be in any of the three seasons), but the ones I’ve seen that are bred enough to be out on the prowl were not small enough to squeeze through noseeum netting.
All of which suggests that netting in the inner door(s) of a tent is well worth its weight, to keep out not just ticks, but any number of pests, bears excluded. But that doesn’t mean that you or your pet won’t bring them in. Not a problem in cold weather, though. Frontline Gold on the pets is helpful. Have also found that above a certain altitude, that varies with the locale, there are no longer ticks. The permethrin sprays on the lower clothing, and avoiding bushes, gets me from the trailhead to that certain altitude.Apr 18, 2020 at 11:36 pm #3642035
Permethrin is quite effective at stopping ticks. If you are worried, spray it on your bivy including the mesh. Make sure your shelter doesn’t have gaps that ticks can crawl through. Treat all your clothing including night clothes.
But you are far more likely to bring ticks inside with you un-noticed. Tick checks are also A Good Thing.
On one spring day hike in coastal California, four of us competed to find the most ticks on a single blade of trailside grass. My wife won with more than 40.
— RexApr 19, 2020 at 7:12 am #3642047
“Tick checks are a good thing”
I would respectfully revise that to “Tick checks are a necessary thing”.
“My wife won with more than 40.”
For anyone who might doubt this, I have personally witnessed a literal wave of ticks crawling up a hiking partner’s calf. Easily 40 ticks…he said he “felt something weird and stopped to check”. He also became an Insect Shield/Permethrin convert on that trip.Apr 19, 2020 at 12:47 pm #3642083carl vSpectator
Haha, I posed the question hoping to alleviate my fears, turns out it’s being added to:) Ticks, easily my least favourite part of hiking.. Tnx for your replies!Apr 19, 2020 at 5:09 pm #3642135Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Lake District, Cumbria
“I have personally witnessed a literal wave of ticks crawling up a hiking partner’s calf”
Some years back someone posted here about working in tick-infested grass in hot weather.
I’ve always believed in long trousers + Permethrin but he said they were unbearable in the heat. He pointed out that with bare legs you can easily spot the ticks and brush them off long before they find a warm, moist spot to dig into. He claimed that in many seasons he’d never had a bite. But you have to remember to do an inspection at regular intervals, or this could go badly wrong…
As for netting, I very much doubt they can chomp through the mesh and create a hole, and I’d be very surprised if they could bite you through it – it’s not how they operate.Apr 19, 2020 at 5:11 pm #3642136dirtbagBPL Member
Permitherin.Apr 19, 2020 at 7:04 pm #3642150Apr 19, 2020 at 7:07 pm #3642151
From the cdc.gov website:
How ticks find their hosts
Ticks find their hosts by detecting animals´ breath and body odors, or by sensing body heat, moisture, and vibrations. Some species can even recognize a shadow. In addition, ticks pick a place to wait by identifying well-used paths. Then they wait for a host, resting on the tips of grasses and shrubs. Ticks can’t fly or jump, but many tick species wait in a position known as “questing”.
While questing, ticks hold onto leaves and grass by their third and fourth pair of legs. They hold the first pair of legs outstretched, waiting to climb on to the host. When a host brushes the spot where a tick is waiting, it quickly climbs aboard. Some ticks will attach quickly and others will wander, looking for places like the ear, or other areas where the skin is thinnerApr 20, 2020 at 4:23 pm #3642299
Re: “Ticks can’t fly or jump”
I live at about 600′ above sea level at the foot of Mt Chocorua, around 3400′ high.
Years ago, observed a tick in the back yard jump from mowed grass a few inches up onto my hand. Looked like a dog tick, not a deer tick, but always wonder whenever I see the constant statements from ‘experts’ during tick season, that ticks don’t jump. It appears to be a universally held belief. But I know what I saw. Feels like a Roswell situation.
In recent years, the deer ticks have moved in around here in lower altitudes and moist areas. And haven’t seen a dog tick for a long time, even though I have dogs. But have always used Frontline products during the warmer months.
Also note that Permethrin products caution against its application to bare skin, but don’t say exactly why. But that is enough for me to be very careful to limit application to shoes and clothing. Permethrin treated clothing has become very popular, but have noted that one spray application only lasts a day for me; so wonder how the pre-treated clothing can possibly work for much longer, unless the impregnation is very heavy.
Granted, there can be an element of hysteria about toxic substances; but many that were formerly in common use have later been proven to be carcinogens or otherwise harmful. I think it better to be safe than sorry, and prefer to hike mostly where there are no ticks above a certain altitude, or none at all in areas where all the terrain is above a certain altitude. For those who can’t get away from areas where ticks abound or can even swarm on one’s legs, you have my sympathy.
We did run into lonestar ticks years ago, camping in the N.J. pine barrens. Unlike deer ticks, they quickly bored under the skin so only a tiny part of the tick’s back was showing. In those days, most of us smoked, and found that moving a cigarette tip close to the tick would make it back right out. Due to congested traffic, we drove from the barrens back home to north Jersey on slow going local roads. Which was good, because we repeatedly had to stop and use public restrooms to remove the ticks after they were discovered. This led to an incident where two of us were interrupted in a ladies’ room, one bending over while the other applied a cigarette to a private portion of her friend’s anatomy. This created quite an uproar, and rapid exits. But we never went back to the pine barrens to camp. There were lots of places closer to us, like the Ramapo mountains, without the ticks.Apr 20, 2020 at 4:52 pm #3642304
Re: ticks jumping, or not. I don’t doubt anything when it come to these little evil blood suckers…I was simply posting text verbatim from the CDC. I have had a tick fall onto my neck while lounging under a tree, so I tend to believe they can and do “launch” themselves at targets.
The safety and efficacy of user-applied permethrin clothing treatment has been debated and discussed ad nauseam on this site. Given how quickly such applications dissipate I do not consider them safe…everyone is free to believe what they want. I am a proponent of the Insect Shield treatment as it has been tested and proven to remain 90% effective after 70 washings. This treatment does not wash out easily, and does not get on your skin. Again, believe what you will, however, I live in N Fla where ticks are rampant and have not had a tick in 8 years of wearing Insect Shield clothing. Some items are many years old and still retain their effectiveness.
I don’t expect to convert anyone, just sharing my experience.Apr 21, 2020 at 10:23 am #3642384Daniel MBPL Member
although ticks aren’t a major threat here in LA, it’s something that always lingers in my head. I am a little paranoid about ticks…but I am also a whimp with a bug phobia, which is why I can never see myself going #tarplife. lolApr 22, 2020 at 1:11 am #3642489
Thank you for the info about Insect Shield. Thought it was just another permethrin treatment.
Will surely look into it.Apr 22, 2020 at 4:52 am #3642493
Obviously you can buy clothes pre-treated with Insect Shield (Ex-Officio, Columbia, Rail Riders, and many more), but most people I’ve spoken with do not realize that you can send your clothes to IS for treatment. I have done this for all of my hiking pants, shirts and socks, and have even sent some often worn items back a second time. They don’t do a very good job of advertising it, but there is a bulk discount of between 16% to 20% for 3 or more items so best to just do everything at once. With the discount it works out to at most $8.35 per item…very much worth the investment for your favorite hiking clothes that you meticulously searched out and bought on sale :)Apr 22, 2020 at 11:20 am #3642546idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
+1 to JCH. I’ve sent my clothes to Insect Shield for a number of years now. I also haven’t had any tick issues that I know of since then.Apr 22, 2020 at 12:38 pm #3642555iagoBPL Member
@iagoLocale: Boston & Galicia, Spain
I have also had great experience sending stuff to Insect Shield to treat.Apr 22, 2020 at 12:59 pm #3642560W I S N E R !BPL Member
I’ve had a few bites/removals in my life, but fortunately ticks aren’t a huge issue where I generally backpack (yet).
Not to go off the deep end here, but as a cat lover I’m always concerned about permethrin. They’re highly sensitive to it…While I hear a ton about how safe it is for people, we had a cat poisoned and killed by exposure through a neighbor’s property. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but home-treating my clothes has never sat too well with me…my cats have no boundaries and are always in my stuff!
I highly doubt a tick could bother you through noseeum mesh. I’ve always avoided chemicals and physical barriers (inner tents/tucking in clothing) seem to have done the job well so far.Apr 22, 2020 at 1:12 pm #3642562
“I also haven’t had any tick issues that I know of since then.”
Ha! Whenever I have gotten a tick, I knew it…oh boy did I know it!
“Not to go off the deep end here, but as a cat lover I’m always concerned about permethrin.”
Precisely why I tend to go on and on and on about IS treatment. It is very tightly bonded to the clothing fibers and does not come off…it wears OUT, but does not wear OFF. Washing IS treating clothing does not wash permethrin down the drain with the rinse water and out into the environment. My experience (admittedly unscientifically) confirms these findings.
It seems the BPL community is bifurcated into a group that prefers a DIY permethrin soak (that needs to be reapplied every 3-4 washings) and one that prefers IS treatment. Neither group seems particularly impressed with the other’s opinion :)
HYOHApr 22, 2020 at 1:14 pm #3642563Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
I’ve always avoided chemicals
Me too! I even avoid sunscreen. But Permethrin-treated clothing has been studied a lot and has seen widespread use for many decades without any notable problems. Lyme disease, on the other hand, can be absolutely devastating, and ticks are multiplying like bacteria. I can’t think of an easier risk assessment: treat the clothes.Apr 22, 2020 at 2:30 pm #3642569Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
If you are observant you can see questing ticks along the trail. In So Cal where I live, I usually see them in the spring when things are still moist.Apr 23, 2020 at 12:20 am #3642651
I know from painful first-hand experience that tick bites and treatments can cause many other serious problems besides Lyme disease. Now I spray Sawyer permethrin on my clothes, backpack, and other gear early every year. Studies show it works as well as commercial treatments.
Use permethrin – pre-treated, commercially treated, or DIY – if you work or play in tick country.
— RexApr 24, 2020 at 4:38 pm #3642941iagoBPL Member
@iagoLocale: Boston & Galicia, Spain
I have a question to the forum since we are on the topic. Please, understand that I have no agenda and I mean no disrespect. Just looking for information.
IS treatment. It is very tightly bonded to the clothing fibers and does not come off…it wears OUT, but does not wear OFF. Washing IS treating clothing does not wash permethrin down the drain with the rinse water and out into the environment.
I seem to have read from multiple sources that you should not immerse your mosquito treated clothing in lakes and rivers. I did an online search, and I couldn’t find any text that spoke to this point. Permetherin seems to be highly toxic to fish. For this reason, I chose to treat zip-off pants. But if IS treatment does not wear off, this precaution would be unnecessary.
Of course, like it often happens, we deem things safe due to lack of adequate scientific research.Apr 24, 2020 at 5:25 pm #3642948
The IS treatment is very different than spraying a solution of permethrin diluted in water onto your clothes and allowing it dry. Not only is there great risk of polluting your local environment during such application, permethrin applied to clothing in this manner will wash almost completely out in 3-4 washings. It also leaches out when you sweat, or when you get rained on, or when you swim in your clothes.
IS treatment is a very technical chemical process that bonds the permethrin to the clothing fibers. It does not wash off, rinse off, or sweat off…not in your washing machine, not onto your body in the rain, not into a stream or lake. There is a great deal of information on the IS site for those interested in researching these claims further or reading the scientific reports. For those disinclined to believe the literature provided by a vendor who wants to sell something, there have also been many studies worldwide, spanning several decades, that corroborate IS’s claims. Google reveals all. In this case, not only is there adequate scientific research, there is a surfeit of it supporting the safety and efficacy of the proprietary Insect Shield treatment.Apr 24, 2020 at 10:55 pm #3643035
I pretty much disagree with everything in JCH last post, and have studies to back it up, too.
Oh well. Maybe we can agree to disagree.
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