A Public Service Announcement

Just a reminder that for many of us, orcharding season is tick season. Make sure to check yourself regularly. I found this sucker on me this morning.


So true, we got them bad here. Dilute vinegar spray is said to help repel them as an alternative to DEET. I always wear light clothing to make them easier to spot.


There are also permethrin sprays for clothing and shoes (not for skin). Those are purported to be absorbed by the clothing fibers and remain effective for two weeks and withstand washing. It’s supposed to be both a repellent and cause them to fall off clothing before they attach to the skin.

If anyone knows more about this, I’d like to hear.

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Muddy, I have heard good reports about these products. I would still recommend using DEET as well And, be sure your dogs are getting monthly spot treatments to repel ticks as well, if you have dogs on your property or out in the orchard with you, as they can bring ticks back with them to your yard and house. We also use a great natural repellent spray product on top of monthly spot treatments for our dogs called, “Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Spray”. Can also be used on people. This really helps repel a tick from taking a hitch hike. We noticed a significant reduction in ticks on our dogs when using this product. Even though a hitch hiking tick was going to die if on our spot-treated dogs, I still didn’t like finding disabled but still alive ticks crawling around on my carpet, ick. This pretty much eliminated ANY tick from jump on my spot treated dogs.

Patty S.


I’d like to add that when using sunscreen, the sunscreen should be applied first, and the insect repellent afterwards.

When I went on my trip, I pretreated my clothing with permethrin spray and used DEET on exposed skin when I went out. My purpose was to be less attractive to mosquitoes

I’m fortunate to not have ticks or fleas on the property. We keep our dogs treated year round, anyway, because we do take them out and live in an area inhabited by mosquitoes.

I had Lyme about a year ago. You don’t want it. I try to stay out of the woods in the spring. I do all my hiking in the fall.

I second that. I had it in 2007. Still suffering. DEET, DEET, and DEET one more time.

I’ve seriously already pulled at least 6-7 ticks off me in the last 3 weeks (all unattached) and even though my dog takes a flea and tick pill, I’ve found just as many on him. My parents’ stock broker was a 36 year old fitness guru in perfect health, pulled a tick off and watched the infamous “Target shaped” sore radiate out without knowing what it was. One month later he was dead from Lyme Disease. Great man with wife and new child and now he’s gone. Please take ticks and tick prevention seriously. THanks for the reminder, @SMC_zone6 .

I hut spring gobbler each year and it is prime tick season in my area. I wear coveralls and treat them with Permanone (brand name for a permethrin based spray) at the beginning of the season. If I don’t get caught in a rain storm, it is good for about 3 weeks. I treat again in the middle of the season.

I find DEET ineffective for ticks. Not only will permethrin repel ticks, it will also kill them. I have watched ticks crawl on my treated coveralls for 20 minutes and then roll off dead. Contact with the permethrin irritates them and they seem to become disoriented.

It is not approved for application to the human body, only to clothing. With the aerosol spray, you spray it on clothing until you see a white coating on the clothing. Then let them hang until completely dry before putting the clothing on.

I now also use it for my seedlings on my deck in lieu of Sevin. I don’t use the aerosol sold for clothing. I bought some concentrate from Keystone Pest Solutions. I mix it and use a hand spray bottle. I actually re-use the pre-mix Seven spray bottles. I find this at least as effective as Sevin for most pests but it lasts much longer. I find if I use Sevin, I need to re-treat more frequently.


One more use of Permethrin I forgot to mention was for other insects like mosquitoes and biting flies. When I’m working at the farm in the summer it is too hot for long sleeves and pants. I treat my socks and boots and my hat. I hit the underside of the brim of my hat pretty heavily with permethrin. I also treat my work gloves.

I find this pretty effective and it doesn’t require me to put deet or anything else on my skin directly.


It was so cool here this spring that the ticks were not that bad during turkey this year but I have seen it when it was just brutal. Fifteen years ago ticks were just a really bad annoyance now it is really a different ball game.

Uhh. My job is surrounded by swampland and woods. The ticks are terrible!

I have several brothers/nephews that turkey hunt and they said it was the worst season ever for ticks. It was very warm around that time.

Just looking at my family…i’ve got 2 brothers that have had Lyme (one brother has had it several times), a nephew (when he was a child), 2 sister in laws …maybe some others. Many of them had their first case back in the early 90’s. I think everyone had the typical bulls eye rash… which now i know doesn’t occur with everyone.

Ticks also carry several other diseases so Lyme isn’t your only worry. Bart and Babesia are also very common co infections that are nasty and almost impossible to get rid of in some cases. There are different strains of Lyme …even from the midwest ot the east…and then Europe has its own strain. Babesia also has different strains.

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Yup, and for those folks more towards the west/mid-west, there is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which apparently I had as a pre-teen. I don’t know what made my doctor even think of checking me for that, since I grew up in S. California, but he did, thank goodness, and that probably saved my life. I had no idea how sick I was (or could be, RMSF is often fatal). I just felt like I had the flu. All I remember is my mother being a little shaken up, and that was something, since my mom, being Canadian by way of Scotland, had the stiffest upper lip ever. Nothing rattled her cage. But that did. And that kind of scared me. I knew she was shook up, and I should be. I recovered, and now as a nurse, I know why. Thank goodness for brilliant doctors. We lived in a very rural part of Orange County at the time, and I’m sure there were ticks out in the acres and acres of fields and scrub surrounding our house. For those living in tick-infested areas, especially those areas that are endemic for Lyme, it is a good idea to be checked every now and then by your doctor. Titers are very easy to draw and run. Chronic Lyme is a terrible thing, as well as other tick-borne illnesses.

Patty S.


My son was working in a marsh area where a dozen or more ticks would get on him. 0.5 percent permethrin was the solution. He said the ticks would crawl on his clothes sprayed with permethrin and within a minute would fall off. It kills them. Deet, 15 to 30%, and Picaridin, 20%, repells them.


Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Rickettsia rickesttsii) is not confined to the West/Mid-west, but extends to the East Coast. As shown in the following incidence map taken from a Columbia University Medical Center, some of the areas of most concentrated infection rates extend in a band from coastal North Carolina to Oklahoma.

Some may recall my tale about a year ago when a sister became more and more ill over a matter of weeks when her doctor did not treat her while awaiting test results. The outcome was okay once she insisted on treatment. This is one of those diseases where the recommended procedure is to treat first with doxy (except for pregnant women) if there is a possibility of tick fever, and then wait for test results. In case of pregnancy, an alternative antibiotic is recommended by the CDC.

I usually avoid talking about medical treatments online, but failure to follow standard procedure for suspected Rickettsia infections can cause long-term damage or death. Since it was family member whose treatment was delayed, I take it as a personal obligation to help spread the word. We’re fortunate to have a commonly available antibiotic that continues to be an effective treatment.


Thanks to everyone who has confirmed the effect of permethrin treated clothing on ticks. I did have a concern that if it only caused disorientation and didn’t actually kill them, that they might become resistant. It’s good hear repeated reports that they do die.

I think I’ll probably purchase more to treat my clothes to help repel mosquitoes. We have the kind that are out in daytime here. I itch like crazy from every bite, and I get plenty. Applications of DEET don’t seem to work very long to keep them from feasting on me.

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Ticks like tall grass and weeds. They climb up it to get to their host. If you can keep your fields mowed they wont breed there. You really need to watch for them when walking through the high stuff.

You’re right, Muddy. RMSF isn’t just located in the “Rocky Mountains”, but in high tick-infested areas. It is carried by the Rocky Mountain Wood tick (hence the name), but more dangerously, it is also carried by a couple of types of dog ticks, which are just about everywhere in the USA. As you can see in the disease map, no cases in California. My doctor decided it was worth checking for all tick-borne illnesses, even though any other pediatrician probably would have blown off my symptoms as “just the flu”. But, I had a weird rash, and that was the key, I think, for my doc to run the right tests. He was an incredible doctor, I will never forget Dr. Carnahan. That was a one in a million diagnosis, and it saved my life, I have no doubt. Rickettsia infections are indeed dangerous. This is a good topic to discuss, especially during the spring.

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Your parents and future hubby and daughters were all very fortunate that he took the precaution of treating you. :slight_smile: Your childhood doctor sounds like a jewel.