Tick prevalence prompts response

As we head into another spring gobbler season, I’ve added a new item to my don’t-leave-home-without-it list.

This spring, it will rank right up there with my license and tags, shotgun, shells, calls and cushioned seat.

Permethrin.

There’s no getting around the blatant product promotion here: Permethrin is generally regarded as the No. 1 tick repellent and preventive measure. I’ve used it in the past on spring gobbler hunts in Missouri and Kansas, but for some reason I’ve gotten a little lax in treating my camo clothing – you don’t spray it on your skin – here back in New York and neighboring Pennsylvania.

Not this year.

Paula and I have gotten a preview of coming attractions during our spring romps with our two Labs, encountering more ticks than we can ever recall. We’ve routinely pulled several off our clothing as well as the dogs, and have decided to launch a shock and awe campaign this year to deal with what appears to be a record year for the Lyme disease-carrying insects.

Perhaps it’s a product of the mild winter, but when you’re actually seeing several ticks on your clothing after a brief hike, it’s time to respond. Paula has always taken an extra-cautious approach, wearing protective gaiters to tighten the pant legs and further preventing tick advancement onto skin. She has already gone through an antibiotic series after finding an imbedded tick on her skin last year, and the fact we know, personally, several fellow sportsmen and women dealing with the effects of Lyme disease is sobering indeed.

So we still get out there, but with an extra sense of caution. Permethrin-treated clothing. We’ll keep our hunting camo tucked away in a plastic bin, and one of the benefits of using Permethrin is a single treatment can serve you well through even a few clothes washings.

The dogs have always been well protected, with both collars and pills to prevent Lyme disease. And after each out Hailey and Finleigh are dutifully combed and checked. It’s rare that we later find an imbedded tick on either Lab.

Call it a sign of the outdoor times, but the presence of ticks and even the prospect of Lyme disease isn’t going to alter our activities, only our preparation levels.

For sure, the shotgun and shells will always be tops on the list this spring when we head out. But Permethrin will be high on the list as well. Given the potential impact of a Lyme-carrying tick, it has to be.

Categories: Import

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