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nthacker66

Tick control

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(yes i know this has been covered, but it doesnt mean it cannot be discussed) :rolleyes:

 

Over the years of my many adventures, even pre-caching, I have tried to take learned practices for battling tics - hunters and military folks were good sources, but high concentration of deet every weekend, and permethrin on the clothes gets me feeling sick these days and I know it isn't safe. I wonder if people have alternatives (other than the taping pant cuffs, etc). DOes anyone use the cedar oil sparys and if so, how well do they work? Any other suggestions?

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You've already mentioned what we use.....My husband and I have one pair of jeans (each) that we treat with permethrin. Other than that....regular bug spray for everywhere else. Wear light colors, tuck your shirts in, wear a hat, don't walk in tall grasses, check your clothes immediately after going in the woods, check yourself again when you get home an take a shower....etc.

 

You could probably go without using anything.... just be prepared to FULLY CHECK YOURSELF during and after all trips in the woods/fields. Ticks can be larger in size and easily viewable.... while others are tiny and hard to see. A tick is a tick. I don't care which ones carry lyme disease, I don't want any of them imbedding in my skin!!

 

I had a tiny black dot on my chest one day and my husband noticed it had LEGS. Talk about discusting!! GET IT OFF ME!!

 

Get yourself a TICK removal tool.

 

Even in the winter...ticks are out there!! We were out hiking last weekend in 40 degree weather and my husband had 3 ticks on his pants. They never sleep!!

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You've already mentioned what we use.....My husband and I have one pair of jeans (each) that we treat with permethrin. Other than that....regular bug spray for everywhere else. Wear light colors, tuck your shirts in, wear a hat, don't walk in tall grasses, check your clothes immediately after going in the woods, check yourself again when you get home an take a shower....etc.

 

You could probably go without using anything.... just be prepared to FULLY CHECK YOURSELF during and after all trips in the woods/fields. Ticks can be larger in size and easily viewable.... while others are tiny and hard to see. A tick is a tick. I don't care which ones carry lyme disease, I don't want any of them imbedding in my skin!!

 

I had a tiny black dot on my chest one day and my husband noticed it had LEGS. Talk about discusting!! GET IT OFF ME!!

 

Get yourself a TICK removal tool.

 

Even in the winter...ticks are out there!! We were out hiking last weekend in 40 degree weather and my husband had 3 ticks on his pants. They never sleep!!

 

With the risk of sounding arrogant, I consider myself a tick afficiando ;-) I have been off trial hiking long before geocaching (which is where most of the ticks like to live). For some reason I am just a tick magnent. About the only thing I can do really is treat my clothes in permethrin (which we all know kills - not repels - the ticks). The deet is really getting to me though. I may just bite the wallet and try out one of those cedar sprays (one thing i always noticed was how far away ticks stay away from the base of cedar trees. I once saw thousands of ticks (could have been a nest right there) surrounding a cedar but stayed a good 2 - 3 feet away from the circumference of that tree's base. So, deet being a repelent only, but makes me feel like poop, I am wondering if the cedar spray will have the same effect. I guess I will stick with treating my clothes in permethrin.

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With the risk of sounding arrogant, I consider myself a tick afficiando ;-) I have been off trial hiking long before geocaching (which is where most of the ticks like to live). For some reason I am just a tick magnent. About the only thing I can do really is treat my clothes in permethrin (which we all know kills - not repels - the ticks). The deet is really getting to me though. I may just bite the wallet and try out one of those cedar sprays (one thing i always noticed was how far away ticks stay away from the base of cedar trees. I once saw thousands of ticks (could have been a nest right there) surrounding a cedar but stayed a good 2 - 3 feet away from the circumference of that tree's base. So, deet being a repelent only, but makes me feel like poop, I am wondering if the cedar spray will have the same effect. I guess I will stick with treating my clothes in permethrin.

There are a lot of different types of repellants & things on the market. It's hard to tell what works and what doesn't (and what doesn't make you sick).

 

How are you treating your clothes with permethrin? Are you treating everything? (shirts, pants, underware, ??)

 

How do you know its making you sick? Just curious....

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Get one of these things: linky

 

I have carried one for a few years now -- on a keyring. Now, we live in the woods, so it is always with me. Those who do not, may want to opt to just keep it with their caching equipment or perhaps key-ring it to the GPSr lanyard loop.

 

They are made for animals, but work equally well removing ticks from human "animals".

 

Have gifted them to caching relatives as B/D presents, Christmas stocking stuffers and just because, etc.

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With the risk of sounding arrogant, I consider myself a tick afficiando ;-) I have been off trial hiking long before geocaching (which is where most of the ticks like to live). For some reason I am just a tick magnent. About the only thing I can do really is treat my clothes in permethrin (which we all know kills - not repels - the ticks). The deet is really getting to me though. I may just bite the wallet and try out one of those cedar sprays (one thing i always noticed was how far away ticks stay away from the base of cedar trees. I once saw thousands of ticks (could have been a nest right there) surrounding a cedar but stayed a good 2 - 3 feet away from the circumference of that tree's base. So, deet being a repelent only, but makes me feel like poop, I am wondering if the cedar spray will have the same effect. I guess I will stick with treating my clothes in permethrin.

There are a lot of different types of repellants & things on the market. It's hard to tell what works and what doesn't (and what doesn't make you sick).

 

How are you treating your clothes with permethrin? Are you treating everything? (shirts, pants, underware, ??)

 

How do you know its making you sick? Just curious....

 

I either use the permethrin solution and soak everything (soaks, undies, pants, outer shirt (i usually wear under armor to pull the sweat away) and I spray the inside of my boots/shoes with the spray. Sometimes I will spray down my clothes with the spray if I am out of solution.

 

I apologize, the deet is the only thing that makes me feel bad. I will usually get the 80% deet. When I use it, I will get flash fevers, headache, nausea. I have dialed down to 60% and still get it. I may try 40% this time around to see what happens.

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I treat my clothes with the spray, one set. And will use deet intermintently. Usually not in the 80% category though. But I tend to not wear clothes the little guys have an easy time climbing on, keep my hair pulled back tight with a hat on and that jazz too. I just don't like how bug repellent feels on me so if I can avoid it I do and I in 2 years have had 1 tick on me.

 

But since I know the little guys hitch hike and attach when you least expect it I also treat the dog and cats. I make sure to check the dog for stragglers before coming in the house (short hair and easy to do). I also strip immediately when I get home and the clothes go immediately into the washer and dryer. They don't sit around to let the hitchhikers wander around the house.

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I treat my clothes with the spray, one set. And will use deet intermintently. Usually not in the 80% category though. But I tend to not wear clothes the little guys have an easy time climbing on, keep my hair pulled back tight with a hat on and that jazz too. I just don't like how bug repellent feels on me so if I can avoid it I do and I in 2 years have had 1 tick on me.

 

But since I know the little guys hitch hike and attach when you least expect it I also treat the dog and cats. I make sure to check the dog for stragglers before coming in the house (short hair and easy to do). I also strip immediately when I get home and the clothes go immediately into the washer and dryer. They don't sit around to let the hitchhikers wander around the house.

 

We have gameland here in NC that just seems to hve god awful tick infestations. And not juicey lone star ticks, no no, we have the tiny little deer ticks that crawl on you by the hundreds. Even with my permethrin treated outers, and deet on my skin, I had to abandon many deep woods caches in the spring and summer simply because I would be covered in them midway up my calves (for that I carry a can of deet and spray the living heck out of them). I know the permethrin eventually kills them, but I dont want the chance of one hitting a sweet spot on my skin and it digging on in. I can handle a lone star or a common dog tick. I can see them. Those deer ticks though, you dont even feel them once they embed. And they keep going deeper.

 

I had a friend who hasbeen out of caching for a while who actually wore under his clothes, skin tight wet suit like nylon. Said the ticks can get through it, the only unexposed parts of his skin were his hands, neck and face. I would imagine that is ungodly hot in the summer time.

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I either use the permethrin solution and soak everything (soaks, undies, pants, outer shirt (i usually wear under armor to pull the sweat away) and I spray the inside of my boots/shoes with the spray. Sometimes I will spray down my clothes with the spray if I am out of solution.

 

I apologize, the deet is the only thing that makes me feel bad. I will usually get the 80% deet. When I use it, I will get flash fevers, headache, nausea. I have dialed down to 60% and still get it. I may try 40% this time around to see what happens.

 

Wow..... Are you outdoors a lot that requires you to pre-treat all your clothes (even your underware)??

 

If you're treating all your clothes with permethrin - perhaps you should stop using DEET completely if it makes you that sick. I've done some reading about DEET a while back and it can cause sickness since it absorbs into your skin and gets into your blood stream. You don't want to continue using that stuff and have some long term side affects from it. Contact your doctor about it making you sick...

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I keep two sets of clothes just for caching and treat them with Permethrin. I treat the pants from the knees down, the shirts on the shoulders and down the back, the socks completely, and I also spray my hiking shoes. They say it's good for six washings but I redo them every fifth time I wash them.

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I either use the permethrin solution and soak everything (soaks, undies, pants, outer shirt (i usually wear under armor to pull the sweat away) and I spray the inside of my boots/shoes with the spray. Sometimes I will spray down my clothes with the spray if I am out of solution.

 

I apologize, the deet is the only thing that makes me feel bad. I will usually get the 80% deet. When I use it, I will get flash fevers, headache, nausea. I have dialed down to 60% and still get it. I may try 40% this time around to see what happens.

 

Wow..... Are you outdoors a lot that requires you to pre-treat all your clothes (even your underware)??

 

If you're treating all your clothes with permethrin - perhaps you should stop using DEET completely if it makes you that sick. I've done some reading about DEET a while back and it can cause sickness since it absorbs into your skin and gets into your blood stream. You don't want to continue using that stuff and have some long term side affects from it. Contact your doctor about it making you sick...

 

It isnt the frequency of my outdoor activity as mucha s it is where I go. I go into some pretty wild gameland, but also, where I am in NC, the rate of developement over the past 15 years is insane, it is driving deepr population in more dense areas and of course the tick population has exploded. So I can pull up on the side of the road, go 20 feet beyond the gameland boundaries and have 100 ticks on me in 5 mins. I know too many people here who have gotten lyme disease (NC records some of the highest rates of it). So I try to ensure every bit of protection I have is available but also not making me sick.

 

I think I am going to keep using the permethrin on the clothes, and try out that cedar-al instead of deet. Thanks for your input!

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So update so far. Ticks have been back in full force in my area for a while. Hell, I even had a sucker haing on me a few weeks ago after a paddle of all things. But that is the only one since.

 

As I recently said, the deet makes me sick. I toned it down to the 25% deet and just a spritz on my arms and neck. Again, it made me feel like I wanted to pass out. So I give up with deet on the skin.

 

Permethrin on my socks, dudry shirt and on my columbia conversion pants. I also bought a pair of hiking pants already treated with permethrin. So far I am ery happy with them. Secondly, I bought this cream called herbal armor. Its a mix of natural bug repellent that doesnt smell bad either. To me, I enjoy the smell. I have not seen a tick on me, the mosquitos wont come near me and when they do, like today, one got on my pants, and it killed it.

 

I am a beleiver in the permethrin. It is a great line of defense in that they touch it, they will most likely die even if they get to the skin. As the population increases as it gets warmer. I will udate this, but I think I found my skin alternative to deet!

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This is a very important topic to myself as the greater Stockholm area is the most Lyme laden on earth (> 1/3 of all ticks). I generally just avoid tall grass and check my legs frequently. If a tick has bitten, just remove it within hours and no lyme will hopefully transfer. With TBE, which also is endemic over here with about 2 of 100 ticks carrying the virus, it is worse as it generally transfers at the instant of the bite. But there are highly effective vaccines available if you want them.

 

Discounting humans, the tick is probably the most dangerous animal in the country!

 

There used to be an effective lyme vaccine available too (Lymerix) but it was withdrawn due to a few people having side effects - whether or not those were due to the vaccine was however unclear.

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I live in Southern Illinois. We have a very high deer population here and deciduous forests. Ticks are rampant. I built a lot of the structure on the property. We have a small saw mill. I sent an entire year mostly in the woods. I found that just spraying my boots and the lower portion of my pants kept the ticks completely at bay. Of course, I would do a nightly tick check but only found 1 or 2 in that entire year. I only use DEET if the mosquitoes are bad. One thing that may be of interest...I have never had trouble with ticks in a freshly mown hay field. I have often wondered where the heck they go.

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Best protection: Wear smooth synthetic clothes. Fuzzy clothing, jeans, flannel shirts, are a tick's best friends. I mostly hike in long synthetics trousers from REI or Exoficio, though many other makers will work as well, the weave is very fine, preventing ticks an easy purchase when they are questing (attached to some plant or grass with hind legs and forelegs splayed.

 

These are my photos from a few years back, when I actually went looking for them (and found lots of them)

 

m_qing.jpg

Male dermacentor variabilis questing - note forelegs are spread out, seeking a host to grab hold of.

 

fs_qing_2.jpg

Questing female dermacentor variabilis

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Forty this past weekend got me worried...

Cashed in my zoompanel points for REI gift cards, logged in and got four 24oz bottles of Sawyers permethrin (and some sportbeans for CJ). Ended up paying for shipping.

- Figured if I don't, you guys are going to deplete my supply. :laughing:

 

After having Lyme disease a few times (and the arthritus/flu symptoms accompanied) it's still the safest bet.

Everything (but undies) get sprayed, including socks, hats and packs.

We now spray after every-other washing.

I want to kill 'em, not make them uncomfortable.

We've noticed that clothes sprayed this way and properly applied, ticks will crumple and fall off your pants.

CJ was getting them somewhere, as we noticed when we put our clothes in the drier when we get home (10-15 minutes finds 'em dead in the lint screen).

- Turned out she failed to spray the underside of the flap of her zippered pants. Must have grabbed hold just-the-right-spot and stayed comfy - waiting...

We also store sprayed clothes in black garbage bags and hang 'em with other outdoor gear. Permethrin degrades in Sunlight, so anywhere light filters into the house isn't a good place for storage.

 

I no longer use DEET.

Greasy, smells and burns most plastics. Ruined way too many Zagg screens, rubber handgun grips and a really nice fly line having it on my hands.

Trout won't touch a fly with any traces on it. Had to steam clean and reapply foatant to make 'em okay again.

Some tent manufacturers warn about DEET and their bug screens.

Edited by cerberus1

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I live in the coastal wetlands of the southeast which has pestilence all year long. It's unbearable in the summer and I've gotten to where I don't even sit in the yard much.

 

But on another forum I learned about picardin lotion/spray. In addition to treating my clothes with pyrethrin I put the lotion on my skin.

 

The stuff got glowing reviews but I didn't really expect it to work as well as it does. I used to start picking ticks off of me by the time I got to the car. In spite of showering and examining myself right after a hike I would still find ticks on me for a few days afterwards. Don't get me started on the terminal itching and misery of chiggers. 

 

Since starting this regimen I've gotten no bites!!!! I've seen not a single tick!!

 

If it's bad the skeeters will buzz around me a little but they can't find me to land.

 

The picardin does not irritate the skin or destroy your clothes, shoes, and other things like deet does. The lotion is not only odor free but soothing, like jergans.

 

I got both the picardin lotion and spray to compare, they seem equally effective. I wipe the lotion on my ankles, waist, and parts covered by my clothes before I put my treated clothes on. I wipe or spray my exposed skin when I get out of the car, making sure to get my hair and face. 

 

Then I hit the trails. These are not remote trails but there are a lot of them all along the roads of a marine institute near where I live. The trail riders made all these trails, but I rarely see anyone, maybe some people fishing in some of those spots. The trails are between a coastal Creek and a road so there are places people can fish. 

 

I like to go for my "jungle walks" twice a week now that I know how to deal with the bugs. To deal with the heat (it was over 100 degrees last week) I put ice water in my camelbak hawg with the NV back and sip it every minute or so. I am very heat intolerant but I'm making an effort to either aclimatize or deal with it. 

 

Last week in 102 degree weather I did 6.2 miles!! I almost finished my 3L bladder. Other than slightly sore feet for a little while I felt fine. 

 

I should mention that I'm over 60 and have been plagued with joint problems and have had a knee replaced in addition to other issues. I use sticks when I walk or hike at all times. 

 

I'm pretty ecstatic about being able to find these ways to resume my outdoor activities. 

 

 

Itrail2.jpg

marshriver002.jpg

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11 hours ago, gitarmac said:

I live in the coastal wetlands of the southeast which has pestilence all year long. It's unbearable in the summer and I've gotten to where I don't even sit in the yard much.

 

But on another forum I learned about picardan lotion/spray. In addition to treating my clothes with pyrethrin I put the lotion on my skin.

 

The stuff got glowing reviews but I didn't really expect it to work as well as it does. I used to start picking ticks off of me by the time I got to the car. In spite of showering and examining myself right after a hike I would still find ticks on me for a few days afterwards. Don't get me started on the terminal itching and misery of chiggers. 

 

Since starting this regimen I've gotten no bites!!!! I've seen not a single tick!!

 

If it's bad the skeeters will buzz around me a little but they can't find me to land.

 

I had a similar experience with "Permethrin" (the synthetic version of pyrethrin). I have Sawyers Spray and also professionally treated clothing.  Until I got that, I had to quit venturing into the wilds in the summertime in the Southeastern US.  Way too many ticks, and I'd find them in the car, or on the sofa in the house, days later.  I can't check everything for ticks every time before getting into the car.  With Permethrin on clothes, no ticks, regardless of how well I check later.  It kills them.  It's like night and day.  I've been trying Picardin for mosquitoes, it does seem about as good as DEET.  But I'm still testing that.

 

I envy the people who "place a drop of clove oil behind each earlobe" to repel all biting bugs.  For me, it has to be chemical weapons all the way.

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I only use picaridin on skin.  Found it works just as well as DEET, without melting shoe tops, GPSr buttons, and any other synthetics. 

The other 2/3rds is successfully using lemon/eucalyptus oil. I believe it has to do with blood type (mosquitos some reason like O than others), it didn't work for me (O+), and I thought the smell was terrible anyway.   :)

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My itchy itchy ankles would like to know whether picardin also stops chiggers as well as ticks.  Looks like maybe after reading gitarmac's post, but would love to get confirmation.

Edited by hzoi

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A quick google for "icaridin chiggers" suggests that it does indeed repel them.

 

But...  I have two brands of icaridin in front of me, and neither mentions chiggers.  And a note to @cerberus1, the packaging says "Apply ... not under clothing" on both containers.  (The fine print on both containers looks identical; probably written by government.)  Meaning, if you have the opportunity to keep it off your skin, do so.

 

I already know I'm using more 20% icaridin than I used to use 100% DEET.  It doesn't smell like anything, so it can't be bad for you, right?  The logical side of my brain knows, both are chemicals and both might be equally bad for you, but the not-so-smart side says, if it smells like water, go nuts.

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32 minutes ago, hzoi said:

My itchy itchy ankles would like to know whether picardin also stops chiggers as well as ticks.

 

Yeah, many don't realize they're small enough to sneak through socks.  :D

I thought at one time that chiggers were similar to ticks, sitting at the top of vegetation waiting for a snack.  That's what books say...

 - We're getting them (can't see 'em...) more in the hard-pack gravel lot areas we use for boats n stuff. 

Anyway, never had luck with DEET and chiggers, but did with permethrin (spraying socks too), and wearing treated clothes for yard work.

I just had to work on a POS timecutter zero turn yesterday, and laid on the ground knowing I'm probably gonna have those $&#(^%   blisters all over and didn't. 

So far only picaridin on skin is working , with permethrin on clothes (including those socks).   :)

 

I haven't had a tick on me in years now, permethrin on clothes and picaridin on skin.

 

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6 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

  ... I have two brands of icaridin in front of me, and neither mentions chiggers.  And a note to @cerberus1, the packaging says "Apply ... not under clothing" on both containers.  (The fine print on both containers looks identical; probably written by government.)  Meaning, if you have the opportunity to keep it off your skin, do so.

 

Curious, how an insect repellant meant for skin shouldn't be used "if you have the opportunity to keep it off your skin".   :)

Look at any DEET container and it'll say "Do not use under clothing" as well.   

How many people don't spray above their socks (but pants are "under clothing") ?

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Would you rather have a percentage of the stuff passed in your urine (which I gather happens), or rinsed away in the laundry?

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1 minute ago, Viajero Perdido said:

Would you rather have a percentage of the stuff passed in your urine (which I gather happens), or rinsed away in the laundry?

 

I think you're doing the mountain /molehill thing, really.  :D

I haven't met anyone who knew they were heading in tick territory and didn't hike up their pants leg and spray above their socks. 

 - A parking lot before-hike ritual for most hikers I've ever met since the 70s.     :)

Most (like me) spray a couple inches under a short-sleeve shirt as well.  

 

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9 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

I haven't had a tick on me in years now, permethrin on clothes and picaridin on skin.

Yup, that's my magic formula, too. I've been tick-free for a couple years but I will still occasionally get a mosquito bite. I swear if there is a quarter square inch of skin that I miss, one of them will find it.

My experience with Picaridin is the mosquitoes will buzz closer to me than when I used Deet, but they don't bite. I think Deet does give off a stronger cloud. It's an acceptable trade off to not have to worry about it destroying my plastics or eyeglasses like Deet has done. 

I treat ankles to knees even with long pants, plus all exposed skin.

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58 minutes ago, JohnCNA said:

 I swear if there is a quarter square inch of skin that I miss, one of them will find it.

 

:D

Two days ago I cut the field and noticed six skeeter  bites right above only my right eyebrow.    Go figure...

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Chiggers are terrible in this area and I haven't had bites since using those two things. I do apply the picardin lotion under my treated socks, on my ankles. 

 

I also put it around my bare waist before dressing with my treated clothing. Then exposed skin gets a thin layer rubbed on, I've been using the spray to mist around my face. 

 

I've used the "natural" stuff made from various aromatic oils and while it smells terrific it only works if the mosquitos are light. It does nothing for ticks and chiggers. 

 

There are a lot of bugs here and they are super attracted to me for some reason. My choices are to never leave the home or use bug repellent, I'm so glad there is a deet alternative. 

 

I learned about the stuff from a bushcrafting forum. People had great success using it while traveling in sub tropical counties. 

 

Tick borne diseases are on the rise and I somehow have missed getting one in over 50 years of being bitten by ticks but I don't want to take any more chances. Managing my treated clothes is a little fussy and I never bothered before but now that I see how well it works I have 2 sets that I keep in a duffle. I gently wash as needed and hang dry. I generally give them another light spray after they are dry. 

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