How to Avoid Ticks While Hiking – A Standard Safety Guide While Hiking

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Ticks are one of the most annoying things outdoors. They can carry various horrible diseases and are very unpleasant to remove, especially if they have become attached or engorged. Experts predict a massive tick population explosion in the coming year. It’s time to learn more about ticks. The recent irregular winter has resulted in a greater survival rate of adult and larva ticks, which will lead to a population boom during spring. Many hikers are well aware of ticks. However, there is a lot of misinformation about ticks. This article will provide general information on how to avoid ticks while hiking, how to prevent them, how to remove them, and how you can protect yourself.

Types of ticks 

Different species can be found in other parts of the country and may carry or transmit species-specific diseases. However, only a tiny number of tick species can transfer disease to humans. This is mainly dependent on the season. You may find tick populations in the areas below. The CDC has very informative diagrams of the geographical distributions of each tick species.

how to avoid ticks while hiking

American dog tick

Wood tick, also known as a ‘wood tick,’ is widespread east of the Rocky Mountains. It is also found in a few areas along the Pacific Coast.

Blacklegged tick

Most common in the Northeast and upper Midwest. You are most likely to be bitten in spring, summer, and fall. Adult females and Nymphs are the most common biters, but adults can bite anytime temperatures rise above freezing.

Brown dog tick

Found in the US and Hawaii. Although dogs are the primary victims, they can also bite other mammals if they feel like it. Females can spread. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Gulf coast tick

Mainly found along the coast of the United States along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Larvae and nymphs feed on small rodents and birds, while adult ticks feed upon deer and other wildlife. However, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever has been linked to adult ticks.

Lone star tick

The CDC classifies this tick as a “very aggressive” tick. It’s widespread in the southeastern United States, with some cases being found in the Midwest and Northeast. The adult females and the nymph are most likely to bite humans. They can also transmit diseases, such as HIV. Ehrlichman chaffeensis And Ehrlichia ewingii(which can cause human ehrlichiosis(?Heartland virus? Tularemia And STARI. It can also lead to an allergic reaction called Alpha-gal.

Rocky mountain wood tick

They are found at elevations between 4,000 and 10,500 feet in Canada and the Rocky Mountain states. Large mammals are the primary food source for adult ticks. The Western black-legged tick These ticks are probably the most harmless. Less than 1% of adult adults feed on them. They can be found mainly along the coast of the United States, particularly in Northern California.

How to avoid ticks while hiking

It’s no secret I love hiking. Anyone who ventures out of their home is at risk, especially in hiking. However, it would help if you did not live in fear. They are a food source for birds, reptiles and help to control the animal population due to the diseases they transmit. They are essential for the ecosystem, but I don’t want them in my home or Family. So every hike lover should have enough knowledge on how to avoid ticks while hiking.

Check out: How to avoid leeches while hiking

Wear the correct clothing 

Wear long pants. It may seem strange to people living in hot climates, but it is not a problem if you have fitting pants. Wear pants with elastic ankles, or tuck your pants under your socks. They will have less chance to contact your skin. Before they can find your skin, they will need to climb up your leg. Have a look at our info guide on what to wear when hiking. It will help you to select the correct cloth while hiking.

Sprays 

25% DEET is the most effective spray I’ve found. DEET was developed by the Army in 1946 to protect its soldiers. The smell repels insects’ senses. Getting the proper concentration is essential to repel ticks as well as mosquitos. Some repellents contain DEET in higher levels than others. OFF Family is effective against mosquitos. These products don’t protect ticks, so be sure to read labels. Look for REPEL 100 or OFF Deep Woods insect repellents if you want to prevent ticks from hiking. Both contain enough DEET to repel all insects.

Application long term 

These are great products, but I wouldn’t say I like spraying chemicals on myself every time I go out the door. It can be stale, sticky, and taste terrible if it gets into your mouth. Permethrin is why I love to soak my hiking gear in late spring. A soak of one will typically last you the entire hiking season. Officially, six washes is equivalent to 6 weeks. Permethrin, a chemical that causes paralysis and even death in insects, affects their nervous systems. Its commonly used in products like NIX for head lice, scabies, flea collars, and even spot treatments like Advantix for dogs. You apply the liquid to your clothing and then let it dry.

It would help if you avoided their habitats

Avoid long grass and wooded areas. Ticks love to lie in grassy areas waiting for someone to come. They then reach out and grab onto passersby with their legs. Avoid brushing against tall grass, and you should not have any problems. This may not be possible, depending on where you hike. Let’s face the facts, a walk through the woods is more enjoyable than a paved path.

Use a lint roller 

Grab a lint roll and rub your clothes around before you get back in the car. The tape will grab anyone who has decided to take a ride.

How to apply permethrin

Permethrin can be applied to clothing using either a spray method or a soak method. It is the best way to avoid ticks while hiking. The most common commercial application is Swayer. It comes pre-diluted. One bottle can be used for one set. If you have a lot of gear, I recommend purchasing a higher concentration like Martins Permethrin 10%. This is how it works: Take a 1-gallon container of water and pour out 6.4 oz. Replace the water with the Permethrin concentration.

Mix the contents of the bottle. Place your clothes in one-gallon ziplock bags. Make sure to cover your clothes with the liquid. Allow the liquid to soak for a few hours. Use disposable gloves to remove the clothing from the bags. Let dry in a shaded place. The chemical is broken down by the sun. You can go once it is completely dried. In the correct application, the product is entirely safe for human skin once dried. Each member of the Family should have one set of outer layers. It works with all insects. There is no need to use any other products.

Although it was initially daunting, this experience was effortless. Backpackers will apply this principle to all of their gear, even tents. My daughter was most impressed by this action. We noticed the dead mosquito on my daughter’s shoulder while wearing her hoodie during a trip. It flew away as soon as she let it go. It was unlike anything we had ever seen before.

How to protect yourself 

INSPECT DAILY When backpacking, hiking in forests, or brush-covered areas, make sure you check your tick bites at least once a day. A tick bite is usually not felt, but it can cause mild itching after a few days. Ticks do not jump, fly, or fall from trees, contrary to popular belief. Instead, they use a carbon dioxide sensor built into their bodies to detect mammals. They wait for a host in their vicinity; then, they will use their outstretched front legs to latch onto the host and begin to hitch up to a warm place to start their feast. Usually, it is near the buttocks or waistline, or armpits. Here is a diagram by the Center for Disease Control that shows hotspots where ticks tend to gravitate. These areas should be scrutinized.

Wear insect repellant

Wearing insect repellant is a great way to keep ticks away. You can find the following: CDC-approved list Includes DEET? Picaridin, Oil of lemon oil eucalyptus or (PMD).

Spary permethrin

Spray your clothes, gear, and hiking shoes with insect repellent before you go outside. Permethrin is an insecticide that kills black flies, ticks, and mosquitos. It does not harm humans or dogs. Permethrin can be used on clothes and equipment for multiple washing cycles.

Professional education

Research is key to understanding tick prevalence in the area you are hiking. To check the current situation, read trip reports for your planned hiking route. Learn about the risks and how you can protect yourself. You’re here, reading this, so you are ahead of the game.

Minimize contact with ticks

Avoid hiking in densely wooded areas, tall grass, and brushy areas. Avoid sitting on the ground when taking breaks. To reduce tick contact, always walk in the middle of the trail.

Wear light colored clothing & tuck

Light-colored clothing will make it easier to spot a tick crawling under your skin. Shorts are not recommended if you plan to hike in tick country. To keep ticks away from your legs, you should wear long pants that are tucked into your socks. To prevent ticks from reaching your waistband, tuck your shirt inside your pants.

Tick remover

Many Ticks removal tools There are many options, but a simple fine-tipped tool is the best. If you need to remove a tick, we recommend carrying your device in a Ziplock bag.

Conclusion

While ticks are a frightening thought, it is possible to enjoy and be safe hiking in tick country. Wearing tick repellent clothing is the best and easiest way to avoid being bitten by ticks while outdoors. You can avoid ticks while hiking and crawling on you by inspecting your body before you go to sleep in your tent or get back into your car. Vigilance is the key. We hope you find this guide helpful in your quest to backpack and hike in tick country.

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