View Full Version : Deer Ticks

greg Forster
05-30-2015, 9:30 PM
Looking for suggestions on dealing with ticks;
i've found 8 ticks on me in the last two days
two were attached- but small; alcohol based
aftershave got them loose
i prefer to stay away from chemicals, what else
is there?
I'm sure I pick them up walking my corn or
waist high pasture, and that isn't going to change

Erik Loza
05-30-2015, 9:43 PM
When we went to Kenya, they cautioned us about ticks. I bought this aerosol spray that contains permethrin, which allegedly is a strong repellent. They said you should wear long pants and spray it on the pants, socks, and shoes. Seemed to work OK.


Chet R Parks
05-30-2015, 10:01 PM
I don't know how to keep them from getting on you but for getting them off I use the "Tick Key" it kind of looks like a pop top on a can of beer except about 2.5 inches long. Works like a champ because it always gets the head out. Works great on people and pets. LV has it under pest control in their gardening section. I have 4-5 of them.

Pat Barry
05-30-2015, 10:11 PM
You can get some Deep Woods Off with DEET, or similar sprays with DEET and it does deter the ticks. The more DEET the better. Also, tuck your pants into your socks so the ticks don't sneak in from underneath. You sure they are deer ticks (very small) or just ordinary ticks. Deer ticks in Minnesota can carry Lime Disease and you don't want that.

Tom M King
05-30-2015, 10:34 PM
I have lived in the woods of N.C. and Va. for most of my life. I've never used anything but my fingers to pull them off. Just pull slowly, and they'll release their hold. I'm sure I've pulled thousands off, but not in years. I can tell when even the smallest one is crawling on me now. Tucking pants in socks works, as does staying out of the woods in warm weather. I don't mind dealing with the bigger ones. It's the massive numbers of tiny ones we call "seed ticks" here. I wear shorts in warm weather, and keep bottles of rubbing alcohol around. It'll kill them, and wash them off your legs. I have left a pair of socks beside the road once though. Fortunately, no Lyme around here....yet.

Mel Fulks
05-30-2015, 10:49 PM
Found a dead one on me the other day. Been using a lot of talcum powder and I'm wondering if that kills them similar to the way diatomaceous earth kills some bugs.

Tom M King
05-30-2015, 11:08 PM
I keep a 40 gallon sprayer on the bush hog, and spray a couple of acre perimeter around the house, and other places we frequent in warm weather, like the grass down by the lake, with this stuff: http://www.amazon.com/HI-Yield-31332-Termite-Ornamental/dp/B0056QWJDE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433041501&sr=8-1&keywords=hi-yield+38 at an once per gallon. I have a boom mounted at the back that's made for an ATV which is not as wide as the cutter, but sprays a 30 foot swath.

It can be sprayed one day, and no more ticks are seen the day after and for several months. I'd rather put stuff on the ground, than on me.

Larry Edgerton
05-31-2015, 7:04 AM
After trying a bunch of methods I now use Permethrin as well. I do a general spray around the yard in the spring when they start to show up, and I keep a spray bottle of solution on the porch for my boots/pant legs if I am going out to cut wood.

Lyme disease has far worse consequences than an occasional exposure to permethrin in my opinion.


Alan Rutherford
05-31-2015, 12:31 PM
Permethrin is specifically recommended for use on fabrics and shoes. It's effective and doesn't wash out easily. Worth using. The container we have is labeled "Not effective on the skin".

The top-rated insecticide in Consumer Reports recently contains 20% picaridin. Deet is also effective.

My wife and I average a tick a day if we spend any time outside. They like to dig into places where the best way to find them is to have someone else do the looking. They numb the skin so you can't usually feel them. Those deer ticks are so tiny sometimes I need a magnifier to decide if it's a tick or just a small scab.

All the conventional medical advice says to pull them out ASAP. Don't mess around with trying to kill/suffocate/annoy them into letting go.

roger wiegand
05-31-2015, 4:05 PM
Just had a "tick talk" by an entomologist the other day. He is someone who studies tick populations as well as the incidence and prevalence of tick-borne diseases. We have a very high proportion of deer ticks infected with Lyme as well as Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Short story is don't mess with ticks. His work showed a very high correlation of deer ticks with deer (in the past there's been lots of controversy on the relative role of mice and voles as tick hosts), so he suggests controlling deer as being very important. Remove plants in your yard the deer like to browse, support removal of deer to achieve a more manageable population size, remove leaf litter from your yard (the ticks shelter in it at one stage of development) and use DEET when you go into the grass or forest. Mass poisoning of all the critters in your space with insecticide isn't that effective, other insect repellants don't work nearly as well. Long-sleeve shirts and pants, tuck your pants into your socks.

Alan Rutherford
05-31-2015, 5:16 PM
Sounds like good advice. Got me thinking. We rarely get deer through here but we have squirrels, raccoons, squirrels, foxes and squirrels, among other things. I did a little Googling and found that the UK has just discovered that grey squirrels not only feed ticks but can carry Lyme disease. The grey squirrel is invasive in the UK and has largely displaced the native red squirrel. Whether it's invasive in the US seems to depend on where you are and whom you ask but in any case they're far from threatened.

I have mixed feelings about using wildlife for target practice but the risks from ticks are real and squirrels are another likely part of the problem.

William A Johnston
05-31-2015, 6:29 PM
Whatever you spray with to prevent ticks have someone do a check after leaving the woods. I almost lost my brother two years ago. He was fatigued for many weeks and finally he called and I rushed him to the emergency room. He was so dehydrated his organs were on the verge of shutting down. All this was caused by a tick bite. The disease he contracted is called ehrlichiosis. Please be careful and vigilant they are nothing to play with.

Sam Murdoch
05-31-2015, 6:39 PM
Quoting Alan from above - "Permethrin is specifically recommended for use on fabrics and shoes. It's effective and doesn't wash out easily. Worth using. The container we have is labeled "Not effective on the skin"."

This is the stuff to put on your hats and outdoor shoes that don't often get washed. Still the permethrin will stand up to multiple washings so can even be used on your favorite - in the yard or woods - socks, shirts and pants. The tick key or spoons work well and are suggested as the best removal system.

Good luck to us all. These little guys are a serious threat and are nearly ubiquitous these days. Takes a lot of the fun out of outdoor adventuring but not so much to stop us. Lots of good advice and info above. Just thought I'd emphasize permethrin as one way to gain the advantage.

Jim Matthews
05-31-2015, 8:03 PM
High DEET content works for me.

To remove ticks, a simple mechanical method is best.

daryl moses
05-31-2015, 10:13 PM
I practically live in the woods [i'm a tree farmer] so ticks and chiggers are a way of life for me. That said, permethrin is the only thing I have used that works.
I used to buy the commercially made clothing sprays but now mix my own as it is way cheaper.
I purchase Martins 10% permethrin and mix 1 ounce per 20 ounces of water which is 0.05% [the same as the commercial preparations] If I only ventured into the woods occasionally I wouldn't bother making my own and would use the commercially available spray, but there's seldom a day goes by that i'm not doing something in or around the woods.
Disclaimer........if you make your own spray use at your own risk, what works for me might not work for you.