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Protecting Yourself From Ticks

Spring is here and with the warmer weather and gobbling turkeys, comes the dreaded tick.  Any GameKeeper will tell you that there is nothing worse than after a day in the field to look down and find a tick. Follow these quick tips on protecting yourself from ticks and enjoy the outdoors! 

tick protection
Preventing Ticks

The first step in protecting yourself from ticks is prevention. These tips can help stop ticks before they have a chance to attach.

  • Wear high boots or tuck your pant legs into your socks and spray all outer clothing with DEET or permethrin. Pay special attention to cuffs, collars, caps or wherever ticks have access to your body. 
  • Insect Shield clothing repels ticks and mosquitoes. The Insect Shield process binds a proprietary permethrin formula to fabric fibers, resulting in effective, odorless insect protection that should last the lifetime of the apparel.
  • Certain permethrin sprays may also be sprayed in gardens or areas around your home to kill and/or repel the nasty little creatures.

Removing Ticks

Quick tick removal is very important and can help stop the contracting of diseases from ticks. Consider these tips for removing ticks quickly.

  • If the tick isn’t deeply imbedded scrape it off with a flat hard surface like a credit card.
  • If the tick is imbedded, grasp the head with a pair of tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull straight up. Don’t squeeze the tick’s body. That will force more bacteria into the bite area. Make sure you get the head.
  • For seed ticks, put a piece of duct tape over the tick(s), press down and then pull the duct tape off. Consider the tweezers method in areas with lots of hair. 
  • Use a Tick Key to safely and easily remove ticks. These are available on Amazon.

Controlling Ticks

Controlling ticks can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. If you find your home or cabin with a tick problem, consider these helpful tips for controlling ticks.

  • Ticks desiccate quickly and must stay close to moisture. A gravel walkway will provide a barrier that is difficult for ticks to cross. Small areas inside the gravel barrier can be sprayed to kill ticks. There are a number of products that kill them.
  • White-footed mice should be eradicated if seen. These rodents are believed to be the primary contact where larval ticks pick up the bacteria that lead to diseases.
  • Guinea fowl are great at controlling bugs, especially ticks around houses and outbuildings. Chickens also do this to a lesser degree.
  • Creating new mineral sites can be especially exciting when you have a new piece of ground to investigate and see what deer are living there and what the potential of the area is.

This article is courtesy of the GameKeepers Farming for Wildlife publication, a quarterly wildlife and land management magazine produced by the Mossy Oak GameKeepers. For more information on subscribing or joining visit Mossy Oak GameKeepers Club.

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