Our recent mild Winter will promote a much larger Tick population. If you have been out Turkey hunting this Spring, I do not need to tell you. Ticks are tough to kill, resilient, and opportunistic.
Ticks suck! That means that they need to suck mammal blood to live and reproduce. Like Mosquitoes, they have an anticoagulant on their mouthparts. This prevents a mammal’s blood from clotting and locking the insects into your skin.
Like the Country song says, you need to check for ticks. This can be a romantic or embarrassing chore. Ticks have a way of seeking out private nooks and crannies. If you are a solo Tick checker, consider using a mirror on a selfie stick. Once warm and comfy, they bite into the skin and bury their faces and mouths into your body. Overnight, the engorge their bodies with your blood. At some point they may disengage but kinda like a drunk attached to a beer keg hose, why leave?
Usually an engorged Tick gives up their stealthy attachment. The victim will feel the itch, wiggle, bump, or discomfort. Once the tick is dug in good luck getting them out. A hot match, suffocation, or a quick jerk will often result in leaving the mouthparts of the tick in your skin. This is where the bacteria is released. Lyme’s Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and a host of other cooties will now infect you.
Ticks are blind. They usually find your body by sensing the heat. Ticks also climb onto grasses knee high and lower waiting for a victim to pass by. They grab on and begin to find a pathway to some fresh meat. Generally, ticks will get onto your body at your boot tops, waistline, cuffs, and head. Once there, they explore until they find soft skin.
Simple precautions will help discourage most tick encounters. Spray products containing 0.5 percent permethrin, an insecticide that kills ticks. Many mosquito sprays have permethrin in them. Spray your wrists, ankles, waistlines, necks, and hats. Keep out of you eyes or open wounds. Spraying clothes and gear ahead of time will prevent most tick encounters. Hang the garments and gear after you spray them.
If you tumble dry your clothing for 10 minutes on high heat, you will kill any ticks in your garments. When you find a dug in tick, try using a Q-tip dipped into dish detergent. Touch the tick with the tip and wait a few minutes. Ticks tend to extract themselves. The soap also does not seem to upset the ticks which could result in them vomiting all their bacteria into your body. Once the tick is loose, kill them by burning, cutting, or drowning. Clean your hands and gear to disinfect.
Avoiding the diseases that ticks cause is worth the extra precautions and time.
Get Ticked Off!
For more Montana Grant, find him tick free at www,montanagrantfishing.com.