As a kid in Watertown, I spent a lot of time in the weeds and willows along the Sioux River and at Lake Pelican and was always on the lookout for any strange bug that hitched a ride on my clothing or me, and ticks always seemed to be around.
The Game, Fish & Parks lists numerous seasons in their literature and on their web site, but there is one you will not find listed there, the tick season.
At our last Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, (AGLOW) conference I had an opportunity to talk with Brian Anderson, known as the Tick Terminator and Anderson, he
works hikers, bikers, campers, backpackers, gardeners, lineman, and safety directors.
His recommendation to prevent ticks from getting on your skin would be to use Permethrin.
Most Permethrin comes premixed, and is effective for 6 weeks and 6 launderings.
Anderson offers Duration 10%, which is the only Permethrin concentrate EPA.
Ticks are generally found in tall grasses and low-lying shrubs preferring shaded moist areas. They don’t jump, fly, or drop out of trees. Instead, they wait patiently on a piece of vegetation to sense the CO2 or the smell of an animal or human walking by.
They then latch on and start their search for a nice place to have a 2–4-day blood meal. They’re out in varying numbers in most all of the 48 contiguous states when temps are above 32 degrees or warmer, also note that they do not die off in the winter. The small younger nymph ticks (the size of a poppy seed) are actually responsible for most of the Lyme disease cases because at their size they can easily go unnoticed until it is too late. Adults are easier to see but like all ticks they are very stealthy and their bites are painless when they start their feeding. These nasty little bugs can be a royal pain, but do not let them stop you from going out, you will want to prepare yourself for tick season the same way you would for the other outdoor activities.
Ticks come out in the spring, about the time outdoorsmen and women head into the woods looking for morel mushrooms, wild asparagus or hunting turkeys, but do not think that is the only time they are active as they hang around throughout the summer.
Do not let a little critter like a tick keep you from getting out into the outdoors this year. If you are prepared, there are several things’ hunters and those of us who love the outdoor can do to prevent ticks from hitching a ride.
There are two groups of ticks, the hard and soft ticks and in the upper Midwest, it is the hard ticks we find in wooded, grassy, or other densely vegetated areas, the areas where mushrooms and asparagus is.
Soft ticks tend to live in bird nests, on rodents, and on bats. Either of these ticks can find their way onto us, but there is no species of tick, which depends solely on us for survival.
Some ticks take up residence on a certain host; luckily, we are not one of them.
Females can lay many eggs, anywhere from 3,000 to 11,000 eggs, so we should do what we can to prevent them from catching a ride from us.
There is only one-way to avoid a tick-borne disease to not to go into areas they reside. DUH, like that’s is going to happen if you are an outdoorsmen or women that spends every spare moment out in the field or woods.
Since we know we are going to be in the same areas where ticks reside, here are a few simple precautions that can reduce the chances of a tick encounter.
Because ticks come up from the ground or grass onto you, it is a good idea to block any route they might have as they attempt to get on your skin. You will want to tuck your pant legs into your boots and your shirts into your pants and for extra protection, tape those areas where the clothes meet with duct tape, and on the next to the last application, to twist the tape so the sticky side is out and then another wrap.
Ticks are dark colored, so wearing light-colored clothing makes it easier to spot ticks crawling around before they get on your skin.
Repellents containing 0.5 percent or more of Permethrin works well as a great tick repellent and often used on clothing.
Some products containing Permethrin may remain on your clothing fibers even after washing.
When you get back home, check all your clothing before going into the house and once inside, do a whole-body inspection, washing your clothing as soon as possible.
Do not forget about your dog, man’s best friend, as they can pick up ticks in your yard, if you take your dog out with you on your outdoor excursions, do not forget to protect it.
There are several commercially available dog dips containing Amitrax or Permethrin, which provide dogs with tick protection for two to three weeks per treatment.
For the very best tick prevention for your pet, contact your local veterinarian as some of them such as Cedar County Veterinary Services offer canine dips at certain times of the year where your dog simply swims through a tank of treatment.
Veterinarians also have prescribed treatment options, most of which can last for a month or more.
Once you find a tick attached to your skin, remove the tick as soon as soon possible and then disinfect the affected area following the tick’s removal.
According to recent research, the best method to remove a tick is to grasp it close to the skin with fine-tipped tweezers, place your tweezers close to and right up against the skin grasping the base of its mouthparts not its body.
Pull gently and straight away from the skin until the tick comes free. It is best to grasp the tick from its back to its belly, instead of from one side to the other, helping to keep the tick’s mouthparts from remaining imbedded in the skin. The sooner you remove a tick, the less chance it will transmit a disease to its host.
One of the most common diseases transmitted by ticks is Lyme disease and each summer cases of this disease grow.
After a tick bite, Lyme disease may take several weeks without any signs of illness, making diagnosis difficult, and Years of pain, physical and mental impairment can result if untreated.
Some other tick diseases often show signs up within two to five days of a tick bite and are easier to diagnosis.
Tick borne diseases may progress so rapidly that delaying a day or two of diagnosis and treatment may result in death.
If you have signs of severe or persistent headaches, fever, soreness or stiffness in muscles and joints, appetite loss, fatigue, or a skin rash occurring within three weeks after a tick bite, immediately contact your doctor. Figuring it out early and early treatment is critical.
They then latch on and start their search for a nice place to have a 2–4-day blood meal.
They’re out in varying numbers in most all of the 48 contiguous states when temps are above 32 degrees or warmer, also note that they do not die off in the winter. The small younger nymph ticks (the size of a poppy seed) are actually responsible for most of the Lyme disease cases because at their size they can easily go unnoticed until it is too late. The adults are easier to see but like all ticks, they are very stealthy and their bites are painless when they start their feeding.
Gary Howey is an award-winning writer, producer, broadcaster, former tournament angler, fishing and hunting guide and in 2017 inducted into the “National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame”.
He developed and was the Producer-Host for 23 years of his award winning gary Howey’s Outdoorsmen Adventures television series. He’s the Host of the award-winning Outdoor Adventures radio program carried on Classic Hits 106.3, ESPN Sports Radio 1570 in Southeastern South Dakota, KWYR Country 93 AM and Magic 93 FM in Central South Dakota, As well as on KCHE 92.1 FM in Northwest Iowa. If you’re looking for more outdoor information, check out www.GaryHowey’soutdoors.com , and www.outdoorsmenadventures.com, with more information on these Facebook pages, Gary Howey, Gary E Howey, Outdoor Adventure Radio, Outdoorsmen Productions and Team Outdoorsmen Productions. The Outdoor Adventures television show is available on numerous independent markets, and the MIDCO Sports Network.