Just wanted to share a few notes; and maybe others have something to add on this topic.
I've been treated with antibiotics after getting the rash. This was a few years ago. I researched the hell out of it, because I was a little tweaked about the whole thing, and was uncomfortable out in the woods. That has since changed. Here are a few things I discovered:
A lot of people, even many M.D.'s -- my doctor-brother included --, are not very clear about the details.
The people who really know their stuff in this area tend to be found more often in the field of entomology (including arachnidology). If you can find a good graduate entomology library, at a major university, you can discover things about ticks (and wind scorpions, and other creatures you never dreamed of) that you cannot readily find anywhere else.
DEET is not that effective. I've done tests myself. It neither deters nor kills many ticks. They walk right over it.
Standard tweezers are not a very good choice for tick removal. They smash and compress the bodies. This is not advisable. There are other, better tools. One has a little v-shape in it. You slide it under the tick so that the head is at the apex of the v. There are some other tools as well. Google helps here.
I do not remember all the details on permethrin (the spirochetes probably got those brain cells...the little ######## -- they're worse than the ticks). But I do remember that it
Permethrin is extremely toxic to many arthropods. It is much less toxic to mammals -- by far far far. I do not remember the physiology, but I did read about it. It was impressive how it targeted the arthropod physiology, and not the mammalian.
My understanding is that it remains active on clothing for some time, and kills many bugs in short order.
The small ticks (nymphs) often hang out in leaf litter. Not a good place to sleep or spend a lot of time unless you are prepared in one way or another for them.
They are attracted by carbon dioxide.
Scientists often collect them in the field by putting some dry ice on a piece of cloth. It attracts them.
I've had them on many parts of my body. They are not terribly particular about location. (Navel (I remember those two ticks well), arms, scalp, calf area, groin, thigh, chest, stomach, rib cage area, back, and other areas -- I've had them dig into these areas.)
One morning hiking off-trail in Los Padres National Forest, I removed over 170 ticks from my clothing and body. Only a few had dug in, and I got those early. There is some disagreement about whether or not ticks can transmit the spirochetes inside the 24-hour time frame that is often given. One source said twelve hours. Another said that they can transmit if you squeeze them. Others dispute this.
The rash does not always show up.
I think it is best to find something that kills them.
There are areas where upwards of 50% of ticks tested were carriers of the disease. There are other areas where it is down around 3% or even lower. The presence of bluebelly lizards (I'm not making this up) is correlated with keeping the percentages lower.
That's it for now.
I'm always interesting in learning more about these creatures and people's experiences, and (especially) effective countermeasures.
(As a vegetarian and nature lover, I don't often buy into the notion of 'better living through chemistry'; but there are exceptions.....)
Last edited by Niles H.; 05-09-07 at 02:53 PM.