Friday, June 16, 2017

Tick Repellent

This is supposed to be a record year for ticks, so I spent a full day researching repellent options. I'll share my findings.

This is the best single resource on the web. It's a rundown, based strictly on hard science, by a highly-informed PhD entomologist working for the state of Connecticut (i.e. Tick Central). He's been preparing and updating these surveys for over a decade, and it's all in plain language. It's all you need.....but a lot to digest.

After studying that (and lots of Amazon reviews), I bought (and will use) three products:

1. I'll pre-treat all garden clothes/shoes/hats with Permethrin. I bought this product Note you need to repeat application every 6 washes, and exposure to light also gradually reduces its effectiveness - so you may want to store treated clothes in a dark bag).

2. I'll use this DEET product on skin, socks, shoes, head, pants bottoms. DEET has a fine safety record based on much data for decades. While 100% DEET feels greasy and can damage plastics (and there's anecdotal talk of skin rash in really sensitive people), this is 30%, which is enough (Dr. Stafford says "a concentration greater than 30% doesn’t provide much extra protection").

3. For extra insurance, quick squirts of Oil of lemon eucalyptus, a totally natural product. I bought this.

BTW, it's always good to check highly-rated Amazon products on Fakespot, to see whether the reviews are legit.

Three important reminders:

Ticks can ride in on your clothing, even if they've been repelled from attaching to you. Be careful when returning to your house!

Hot shower right after washes off many/most ticks.

When working in garden/grass, I always pull my socks up around the outside of my pants legs to seal off the route up my legs.

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