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TICK-TOCK…NATURE’S LITTLE TIME BOMBS

The warm weather is starting to return here in our home state of Pennsylvania, and the season for lacing up our new boots we received for Christmas and hitting the snow melted woods to look for sheds is upon us! But… there’s a few tiny little creatures we need to be cognizant about, TICKS!


Sizes of ticks.
Tick Diagram

These tiny things that often provoke a shiver down the spine are creatures that command both fascination and respect as they pose health risks to humans and our four-legged pets alike. One of the most notorious consequences of tick bites is the transmission of Lyme disease. This is perhaps the most well-known tick-borne illness, and climate change can influence the activity and abundance of ticks. My girlfriend Megan and I went shed hunting this past Saturday and we witnessed this firsthand.



  • Warmth: Ticks are most active during warm weather. Temperatures between 60°F and 90°F (21°C to 32°C) are optimal for their activity. In cooler temperatures, ticks may become less active or enter a dormant state, while extreme heat can desiccate them. Ticks are most active during the spring and fall seasons when temperatures are moderate, and humidity levels are relatively high.

  • Game Trails, Leaf Litter and Vegetation: Ticks seek out habitats with ample vegetation and leaf litter, where they can hide and wait for potential hosts to pass by.


WE'LL TAKE AVOIDING THE WOODS OUT OF THE PICTURE,

BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THAT'S NOT HAPPENING!


Sawyer Tick repellent
Sawyer Permethrin
  • Use Tick Repellents: Sawyer is a brand that we religiously use. They provide insect repellents such as DEET, picaridin, and permethrin for treating your clothes or applying to skin before heading out or while sitting in your tree stand. (Follow the product instructions carefully, especially when applying repellents to pets and children, and reapply as needed according to the label).

  •  Wear Protective Clothing: Tuck your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants to create a barrier that makes it harder for ticks to reach your skin.

Bruno spraying up in the heat of summer where flies are a big problem.
Sawyer Picaridin

CLOTHING OPTIONS

Many of us have heard of the popular hunting clothing brand, Sitka, and they have a line specifically created for these needs. The “Equinox Guard” system helps prevent contact by limited skin exposure while also incorporating bite-reduction fabric and built-in Insect Shield®. I personally use these pieces in the spring and early fall treated with Sawyer’s permethrin for a double whammy. The face mask on the hoodie also aids in keeping those pesky mosquitoes away while sitting on stand.


  • Conduct thorough tick checks. Pay close attention to areas where ticks are commonly found, such as the scalp, hairline, neck, armpits, groin, and behind the knees.

  • Shower! Take a shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash away any ticks that may be crawling on your skin.

  • Our four-legged friends: Use veterinarian-approved tick prevention products, such as topical treatments, collars, or oral medications, to protect your pets from ticks. We have three dogs, so we keep a large quantity of “NexGard” in the house. Be sure to consult with your local Veterinary Doctor.

  • Removing: Don’t just grip and pull! If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it properly using fine-tipped tweezers or any specified tick removal tools. (If it’s in an area you can’t reach, it will be time to get closer to a friend or your significant other). Grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Avoid twisting or jerking the tick, as this can cause its mouthparts to break off and remain embedded in the skin. If concern arises of the possibility of Lyme disease, it never hurts to contact your doctor for a small antibiotic prescription.


Keep those eyes open and be mindful so that we all can stay in the woods, continuing to pursue our passion and dreams! Below are links to the products we use.


Author – Ken Reece

Brand Ambassador – Blueline Bowhunters

Follow Ken on Instagram

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