Author Topic: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....  (Read 1648 times)

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Offline BikePacker

Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« on: August 15, 2019, 10:17:48 am »
The 2 below sobering articles on the rapid geographic spread of Lyme Disease prompt me to ask the Forum...

Does anyone know what / if any ( ! ? ) tick spray works best as a defense?  - Thank you.

1. ALERT - This article in The Atlantic Magazine is lengthy
(however, the CDC reported cases by year USA map 20% of way thru article speaks volumes)
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/09/life-with-lyme/594736/

2. https://news.yahoo.com/lyme-disease-war-weapon-inside-184904486.html
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 10:21:40 am by BikePacker »

Offline John Nettles

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 10:35:58 am »
I use Ben's 30% DEET Mosquito, Tick, and Insect Repellent wipes.  Seems to work well for me and is a lot lighter & easier to pack than a spray bottle.  I have had a transplant so I am immuno-suppressed. Therefore, if I get Lyme or some other illness, I have it much much worse than a healthy person. 
Tailwinds, John

Offline aggie

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 10:54:28 am »
Years ago I worked on a Lyme disease project to see if our company’s product would kill ticks on an intermediate host without harming the host.  We were definitely in areas with ticks that carried Lyme disease.  Before we walked around we sprayed a permethrin product approved for clothing on our pants and socks.  We then taped the bottom of our pants closed.  No one had any ticks on them at the end of the day.

By the way, the product we tested was effective in reducing/eliminating ticks in “treated areas” without exposing anyone to high pesticide levels.  Unfortunately the product was a little pricey and was eventually withdrawn from the market. 

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 10:58:50 am »
A little google searching will bring you lots of information.
Permethrin is good for treating your clothes but for skin you want DEET. Consumer Reports a few years ago  found that concentrations of more than 30% DEET were no more effective than 100% DEET (anyone remember Jungle Juice that REI sold?) for mosquitoes.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 12:32:08 pm »
Consumer Reports a few years ago  found that concentrations of more than 30% DEET were no more effective than 100% DEET (anyone remember Jungle Juice that REI sold?) for mosquitoes.

Interesting. Sounds like some reports on SPF ratings, where over a certain number you get no additional benefit.

I have some 100% DEET (Off brand). When it's time for more I will consider a lower number. BTW...I found what I think was a deer tick crawling on me after a long weekend trip to a state forest this spring. Didn't look engorged. Glad I caught it when I did as it was crawling up by neck heading for my hair line. Don't recall using DEET during that trip because there were no mosquitoes. Totally forgot about ticks.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 03:08:47 pm »
FYI: Deet doesn't go bad. I had a bottle of Ben's lying around for a few years, and I contacted them to see if I should replace it. They said no, since the active ingredients don't go "bad". That's good...and also not so good when you start thinking about it... :o

Offline toadmeister

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 04:55:33 pm »
Since I shave my head, no tick problems there :)

My daughter has super thick hair on her head, they love her

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk


Offline staehpj1

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 08:28:17 am »
I find that I have had generally had no problems with ticks on tour.  I mostly am on the bike all day, and while I do side hikes, I avoid getting into or brushing against tall grass and bushwhacking as much as possible.  I don't remember ever picking up a tick on any of my tours and I have done quite a bit of touring.  I may have forgotten having picked off a tick that wasn't attached, but I'd remember if one had ever been embedded on tour.

BTW, I have not found sleeping on the ground to be a problem wrt ticks.  I have done a lot of cowboy camping when touring or backpacking and in my experience ticks are picked up when walking around and brushing against grass or bushes, they don't come to you while sleeping.  You may find them later after picking them up during the day and having them crawl around on you or your clothing for a while (hours or maybe even days).

Offline aggie

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2019, 10:57:29 am »
Staephi1 makes a good point about ticks in general.  Ticks generally find a host by hanging out on tall vegetation waiting for a host to pass by so they can latch on.  If you only stay in maintained campgrounds and don't go exploring in the brush the chances of picking up a tick are pretty small.  One of the chief characteristics of the black-legged/deer tick is it has multiple hosts.  Rodents are one of the primary hosts for the larval/nymphal stage and the carrier for Lyme disease.  In the north-east field mice are very common along the old rock walls that were used to mark the edges of fields and can have many larval/nymphal ticks.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2019, 06:53:12 am »
While I think that for the most part while on tour avoiding walking where you brush against tall grass or low brush is the best way to avoid ticks. I realized that I didn't address repellants at all.  I have not felt that I needed to use repellants for ticks when on tour but for various other outdoor activities I have used them especially when I was living in prime Lyme Disease country.  Permethrin was the primary one mostly on my shoes or boots.  I did also have a pair of zip of leg pants and some jeans that were treated but since I wore shorts most of the time they weren't used as much.

As has been mentioned DEET is recommended for ticks (and mosquitos).  Personally I have found that I prefer using relatively low concentration stuff and splashing it on liberally rather than using the high concentration stuff.  I use it mostly for mosquitos though.  I use a Cutters product with a DEET content of only 7% and find it works very well.  I'd much rather spray that on liberally than meagerly use 100% DEET.  Living in Florida the last 5 years I have had plenty of chance to test it's effectiveness against mosquitos and I like the low concentration stuff fine.  I have used it on a couple coast to coast and other tours as well as a good bit of back packing.  You may need or may not to apply more often, but I have found the stuff works fine.  It is easy to get good coverage when you use a product you can splash on liberally and even spraying on liberally I think you probably get less exposure than using 100% DEET.

I have not really used DEET for ticks, but I'd think the same strategy would apply.

Another tool in the arsenal is Permethrin.  It is applied to the clothing, not the skin and clothing that is pretreated is available.  It is sprayed on ahead of time and allowed to dry before wearing.  It stays on through laundering at least through some number of cycles.  Since ticks are picked up at the ankles or lower legs (If you find them elsewhere they probably crawled around a while and wound up there) shoes, socks, and pant legs are a good place to use Permethrin.

Oh on another note...  I have found that often the worst days for ticks have sometimes been on the few warm days in the off season when you think it is too cold.  Like a couple days where it gets unseasonably warm and everything thaws out when it isn't time for it to be warm.  Watch it on those days.  When I lived there, trail running in Maryland, a warm December day I'd sometime find a tick crawling on me, more often even it seemed than in Summer.

Offline zzzz

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2019, 09:04:28 pm »
As someone who has had Lyme (twice!) I just want to mention to those folks who have never seen a deer tick just how small they are and how easy they are to miss.

 Look at your arm and find a freckle, that’s how big a deer tick is.

I’m not trying to make folks paranoid and not go on tour. I picked mine up at my house in the woods in eastern pa. The good news is you will feel it when they attach as a sore spot, LOOK CAREFULLY at that sore spot because as I mentioned before, they are really small. And apparently it takes something like  24 hours for them to pass on the infection.

Pete

Offline staehpj1

Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2019, 06:50:22 am »
As someone who has had Lyme (twice!) I just want to mention to those folks who have never seen a deer tick just how small they are and how easy they are to miss.

 Look at your arm and find a freckle, that’s how big a deer tick is.

I’m not trying to make folks paranoid and not go on tour. I picked mine up at my house in the woods in eastern pa. The good news is you will feel it when they attach as a sore spot, LOOK CAREFULLY at that sore spot because as I mentioned before, they are really small. And apparently it takes something like  24 hours for them to pass on the infection.

Pete

Yeah, Lyme Disease sucks.  I had it twice as well.  It went undiagnosed for quite a while the first time and I had and continue to have a lot of health concerns that I think are related to it, but it is hard to say for sure.

I'd emphasize the fact that they are small.  They can infect you in the adult or the nymph stage.  The smallest nymphs are 1mm or .039".  You can barely spot them if you really look.  One mm is about the size the bold text period at the end of a sentence on a normal printed page.

I have not always found that I can rely on noticing a sore spot.  Fortunately I have become good at feeling them crawling on me.  Also I have not found them to be as common of a problem anywhere I have been either on tour, other outdoor travel, or around home since I moved away from the mid atlantic region.  When I was living in Maryland, the MD, PA, VA, WV area seemed to be literally crawling with ticks and Lyme Disease was common there.  I remember one short hike where we lost count, but picked something like 200 ticks off of two of us and our golden retriever.  It was disgusting, I feel crawly just remembering it.

Deer tick nymphs are typically the size of a poppy seed, 1 to 2 mm (.039 to .078 inches) in diameter, while adults range from 2 to 3.5 mm (.078 to .137 inches) and are roughly the size of a sesame seed. An engorged tick may be about 10 mm long.