Ask The Biologist

Tick Tock

Tick Tock

By Bob Humphrey

Why biting insects are as big a concern for hunters as big-name viruses.

QUESTION: Everybody is worried about Corona virus, but I’m getting ready to spend a lot of time away from everyone in the turkey woods. I’m more worried about Lyme disease. Are ticks as much of a problem in the spring as they are in the early bow seasons? What can I do to keep ticks away?

ANSWER: It pays to be cautious. Otherwise you could end up with a case of Corona with Lyme (pun most definitely intended.)

But seriously, ticks are always a concern, are more numerous in the spring. After the mild winter most of the country had, they’ll probably be even more abundant this year. However, there is a very simple solution.

Clothing sprays containing permethrin and sold under various trade names are readily available from most sporting goods, outdoors and big box retailers.

Follow the instructions on the label, which typically consist of spraying directly onto apparel – not your skin – then simply letting it dry. One treatment should last several weeks without need to re-apply.

Does it work? The first time I used it, I hunted turkeys in nine states from Florida to Maine (and including Connecticut) over a three-month period and never found a single tick on me.

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