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  1. #1
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    Ticks in NorCal: Info, Repellents, and Remedies

    Lyme disease appears a real issue now in NorCal.

    Lyme Disease in California Management Guidelines--UC IPM

    Several people have recommended this spray repellent from Sawyer. Thoughts? What do you use?

    https://sawyer.com/products/permethr...ent-treatment/

    Places and time of year where you've experienced ticks?

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    Riding Del Valle has been the worst for me with ticks. Think they were literally falling out of the trees

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    Quote Originally Posted by brncr6 View Post
    Riding Del Valle has been the worst for me with ticks. Think they were literally falling out of the trees
    What time of the year?

  4. #4
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    The Sawyer stuff should work pretty well, I've had pretty fair success using fly spray (the kind used on horses) and the active ingredient (permethrin) is the same. Looking at the fine print the Sawyer is actually higher strength than the horse stuff I've been using. I had maybe a dozen tick bites in the last couple of months of 2017 (maybe one every other trip to Coe); with the return of the rains I've made a point to use protection---last 6 times out I only had one bite.

    When working trails with permethrin applied I might find one or 2 on my clothing (and paralyzed at that) while fellow volunteers right next to me with no treatment are getting 10 or 15 ticks. Some of the team use pre-treated clothing and that seems to work very well too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    What time of the year?
    May to August, riding buddy had one on him last year that started getting bad and ended up at the doctors with a few vists and several shots. I will some time spray my cloths and gear with Deet. Will be stopping and picking up some of the Sawyer you posted above.

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    +1 on the Sawyer stuff. Haven't used it that long but no tick since using it on my clothes.

    Also, this is great if you do get one.
    https://www.rei.com/product/777807/l...n-the-tick-key

    I have sent many ticks to the sonoma county health dept. for testing and haven't had a positive one yet. Maybe I damn lucky. I'll take my chances with the permethrin over the bio hazards.

    J

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    Nothing beats permethrin in my experiences. 3 days bikepacking at Coe and never saw one on me. Sprayed my groundsheet and tarp also and it was amazing the collection of bugs/worms/and spiders on them in the morning, none moving.

    There's a video of ticks crawling through freshly applied deet, and stopped dead on shoes with 4 week old permethrin spray somewhere.

    Highly recommend if you want an end-all for ticks. Just don't put it on your skin.

    Good info here
    http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention/permethrin

  8. #8
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    We're juggling between thinking permethrin (for those that don't recognize the chemical it's what's used in lice treatment) and picaridin. We really don't want to even try Deet with the kids and are doing research. I'm already seeing some between San Jose and Gilroy while walking/hiking, all small that were easily picked/flicked off my pant legs. Friends near Santa Theresa this past week came out with almost a dozen each, all the same deal, the small size ones. At first we weren't concerned because we figured they're larval/nymph stage but we were just told that there's a species that's small and can transmit it. Anyone have better info? I'm not used to seeing them THIS early in the game. May, sure, but late March early April?

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    ie:
    Ixodes pacificus has been reported in 56 out of 58 counties in the state. ... In northern California areas where Lyme disease occurs, usually about 1–2% of the adult Ixodes pacificus ticks and 2–15% of the nymphal ticks, on average, are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi.

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    My understanding is the nymph ticks are the most troublesome with regard to Lyme? Is that the correct assessment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomikazi View Post

    Highly recommend if you want an end-all for ticks. Just don't put it on your skin.

    Good info here
    TickEncounter Resource Center
    I am curious - if you don't put it on your skin, how do you protect your legs and arms? I cannot imagine riding at Coe in long pants/sleeves (I overheat easily...).

    I can see how wearing long sleeve clothing helps in the evening while bikepacking but during the day?

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    I picked 3 of the little buggers off me Saturday up at Lake Mendocino. Definitely the season.

    I use that Sawyer Picaridin and find it quite effective...if I remember to put it on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kovarpa View Post
    I am curious - if you don't put it on your skin, how do you protect your legs and arms? I cannot imagine riding at Coe in long pants/sleeves (I overheat easily...).

    I can see how wearing long sleeve clothing helps in the evening while bikepacking but during the day?
    I think the most common way a tick finds a home on you is by finding a non exposed area of skin, that is warm and protected. I almost always find ticks in places that are covered by my clothes and rarely ever on my exposed legs or arms. So, when they walk on your clothing treated with Permethrin, to find a spot to attach, they die.

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    I am going to try that Sawyer stuff out for sure. Check frequently mid ride and definitely after narrow high grass sections...


    Another bonus of being slow, let your buddy's flush em out first..

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    My understanding is the nymph ticks are the most troublesome with regard to Lyme? Is that the correct assessment?
    My understanding as well. Two other things to keep in mind: lizards are the nymphs' favorite host, and nymphs tend to stay close to the ground. (I've been doing a little reading since I found an adult fully bored into my side last weekend.) I'm going to pick up some Sawyers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kovarpa View Post
    I am curious - if you don't put it on your skin, how do you protect your legs and arms? I cannot imagine riding at Coe in long pants/sleeves (I overheat easily...).

    I can see how wearing long sleeve clothing helps in the evening while bikepacking but during the day?
    I don't worry about arms so much, sleeveless when necessary. Thin merino wool tights are comfortable in all but the hottest days for me.

    I don't ride Coe those days, or even in the summer for that matter. I'm also way more tolerant of tights than I am ticks.

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    From Wikipedia.....don't use while breast feeding!

    Safety

    Permethrin has little systemic absorption, and is considered safe for topical use in adults and children over the age of 2 months. The FDA has assigned it as pregnancy category B. Animal studies have shown no effects on fertility or teratogenicity, but studies in humans have not been performed. The excretion of permethrin in breastmilk is unknown, and breastfeeding is recommended to be temporarily discontinued during treatment.[10]

    According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, permethrin "has low mammalian toxicity, is poorly absorbed through the skin, and is rapidly inactivated by the body. Skin reactions have been uncommon."[13]

    Excessive exposure to permethrin can cause nausea, headache, muscle weakness, excessive salivation, shortness of breath, and seizures. Worker exposure to the chemical can be monitored by measurement of the urinary metabolites, while severe overdose may be confirmed by measurement of permethrin in serum or blood plasma.[14]

    Permethrin does not present any notable genotoxicity or immunotoxicity in humans and farm animals, but is classified by the EPA as a likely human carcinogen, based on reproducible studies in which mice fed permethrin developed liver and lung tumors.[15] However, it is known to be highly toxic to fish and aquatic species.[16]

  19. #19
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    I've found between 3-5 ticks on me per ride over the last month in Marin county. Recently they have been much larger and brighter red color. I always find them on my shins and stop often to check.


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    Well timed. I never saw a tick until about 3 months ago.

    I have been riding a route with s lot of foliage though.

    I rode yesterday around noon. Today I was driving to the gym after work, I scratched my head and boom... Found a tick.

    So he had been around for at least 24 hours.

    Gross little buggers.

    I did find out though, that if you kill them, turn them on their back, and press on their belly with your finger nail all of their little arms open up like they are going to give you a hug. You're welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    Well timed. I never saw a tick until about 3 months ago.

    I did find out though, that if you kill them, turn them on their back, and press on their belly with your finger nail all of their little arms open up like they are going to give you a hug. You're welcome.
    They taste like capers, or so I've been told!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    They taste like capers, or so I've been told!
    It's only cause you ate so many capers before it dug in

    Does the above treatment to clothes last through the wash? I may want to do that to a few kits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    It's only cause you ate so many capers before it dug in

    Does the above treatment to clothes last through the wash? I may want to do that to a few kits.

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    I think I read where it lasts up to six washes.

  24. #24
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  25. #25
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    Backside of China Camp is infested with ticks. I had three in me the other day after a hike and pulled at least 20 off my dog. I hate to think what is in the back of my truck.

    How long do they last just walking around on your stuff?

    We have the tick twister too, works great. I only break off the head maybe 1/10 times.
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    Ticks in NorCal: Info, Repellents, and Remedies-71ih5euttwl._sl1000_.jpgBumper crop for ticks too with all the foliage.

    When I got my tick, I just could not get it out since it was so wedged in on my side. I had to buy a tool. I see how they work now.

    https://www.amazon.com/Tick-Twister-...70_&dpSrc=srch

    Basically you can't break the or traumatize them so they spill their contaminated guts back into your body.
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  27. #27
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    Heads up for anyone who is using permethrin... it is extremely toxic to cats when wet. If you are treating your clothing or gear with it, make sure you spray it on outside, away from your cats, and don't take it back inside until it is completely dry.

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  28. #28
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    I just read on the Sawyer site that it is safe for dogs.

    Safe for dogs but fuc7s up cats
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  29. #29
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    I found one on my leg last year. Got it out within 24 hrs, but my doctor put me on antibiotics right away. I did take the tick in to be tested and it tested negative for Lyme, so that was a good thing.

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    Good conversation, thanks. Just bought some sawyers and the tool. Will be spaying riding shorts/socks and carrying the tool.

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    Got my Permethrin from REI today. I don't want to take any chances with Lyme.

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    No tool necessary for tick removal. Apply moderate to high pressure to the head and rub counter clockwise around the body. They'll fall out intact and alive. I removed hundreds from my dog that way.


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    Only because they are smaller...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    My understanding is the nymph ticks are the most troublesome with regard to Lyme? Is that the correct assessment?
    Ticks will look for a host by "Questing". This is how they attach by holding on to a branch, grass etc. with back legs and waving their front legs for anything to brush against.

    Generally, the nymph is so hard to see or detect. But, both the nymph and adult can carry Lyme disease. Nymphs feed on smaller rodent/mammals like mice, while the adult feeds on larger animals like deer, etc. Humans come into the food chain periodically.

    DO NOT crush tick with fingers as it could be contaminated with bacteria. If bitten, save tick in alcohol to have tested if concerned. Most deer ticks or black legged tick will not contaminate you w/ Lyme for at least 24 hours as they are "cementing" their mouth parts into the skin with cementum. Once they start feeding, they will inject you with an anti-coagulant. This is when the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi or Lyme is then released into your system.

    Now, there are 5 other diseases that are concerning, they are: babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Borrelia miyamotoi, ehrlichiosis, and Powassan virus. Even worse, ticks can frequently be co-infected with more than one pathogen.

    Use repellent often in infested areas and ride with folks and let them sweep for the ticks before you (just kidding). Check constantly for them if you are in deeper grass or in a lot of trees. Ceanothus or California lilac is a haven for these abdominal arthropods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_twin View Post
    No tool necessary for tick removal. Apply moderate to high pressure to the head and rub counter clockwise around the body. They'll fall out intact and alive. I removed hundreds from my dog that way.


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    I would not do this on yourself. Get a good pair of fine tweezers to remove them. Too often the mouth parts will stay behind. Removing a tick safely from your body is an art form. It is recommended that you grasp the head as close to the mouth parts as best as possible and pull gently and steadily with a slight twisting motion outward until the tick releases itself. Once the mouth parts are "cemented" in they can be a bugger (no pun) to remove.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RooHarris View Post
    I would not do this on yourself. Get a good pair of fine tweezers to remove them. Too often the mouth parts will stay behind. Removing a tick safely from your body is an art form. It is recommended that you grasp the head as close to the mouth parts as best as possible and pull gently and steadily with a slight twisting motion outward until the tick releases itself. Once the mouth parts are "cemented" in they can be a bugger (no pun) to remove.
    Pretty sure pouring gas on them then lighting a match is the best way. Love the internet. Have not seen even one in el dorado county. Usually the dog gets them and we find them when petting.

    If they get on my skin i yell satanic verses, threaten them with White Lightening Lube, and flash an oval chain ring at em. They run away like roaches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtrider127 View Post
    Thanks for posting this. Bought two sets!

  38. #38
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    A friend said he rode Laurelwood yesterday near Waterdog and removed 10 ticks crawling around on him.
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  39. #39
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    I have 2 areas down here on the central coast that I have put the Sawyer spray to the ultimate test and the result is phenomenal.

    I've been working on a new trail project down here at Montana de Oro State Park. A couple weeks ago, we had to have a few State Parks officials come out and look at the area we're building a 2 mile trail. None of them were protected and they all had a pretty bad dose of ticks on their clothing as we hiked up a hill for a good view of our proposed work area. I didn't have a single one on me.

    We were flagging our corridor on the same trail just this past Wednesday and 3 of the 4 of us were treated. Neither of us 3 had 1 single tick on our person. Our 1 untreated guy had numerous throughout our pretty radical, 4 hour brush-busting session. We picked him clean when we got back to our trailhead and by the time we drove the 2 miles to the gate on the road, he got out after finding 4 or 5 on his truck seat. We rode yesterday surveying some other trails in a County Park and he told me that by the time he got home and stripped down, he had several in his hair and 1 in his stache. Again, the 3 of us, NOTHING.

    Our new location, the Pismo Preserve made up of 11 miles of trail, has had us doing insane Mustard clearance along with miles of tall grasses. I led a grass crew on our cutting mission recently and I had no ticks on my treated clothes yet the others on my detail doing the same work were continually plucking ticks off themselves. This after a few washings of my treated clothes.

    The stuff just plain works! It's crazy to NOT use it if you intend to be in that environment.

    I also spray my TLD knee and partial shin pads as well as the elbow pads. My usual riding socks get it, too. I figure these are points that most of these little bugs latch onto as we ride past them and I have noticed that I seldom have a tick on me during and after rides in known heavily infested locations.

    EDIT: I have been using this tick plier for removal from my dog before I got him the NexGard meds and a really effective tick collar. It works extremely well and is very easy to use. I highly suggest it to add to your outdoor tool box. I just bought a second one along with those "crowbar" type ones suggested above. Probably not so much for me but to assist others as so many are oblivious to issue and concerns. I have several friends that have had significant embeddings and I have such a hard time getting my head around how they let that happen with so much info and warning in place.

    https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Produc...ds=Tick+Pliers



  40. #40
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    Haven't really had to worry about ticks here in NV. While we have them, I have personally never had one or seen one on anyone. We have picked them off my FILs dogs in the past but that was after they has been rummaging through bushes in a heavily forested, rural area.

    I will be riding in Chico at Bidwell park in a couple weeks. Planning to grab the Sawyers and treat my riding clothes prior to heading there but anyone have reports on that area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Haven't really had to worry about ticks here in NV. While we have them, I have personally never had one or seen one on anyone. We have picked them off my FILs dogs in the past but that was after they has been rummaging through bushes in a heavily forested, rural area.

    I will be riding in Chico at Bidwell park in a couple weeks. Planning to grab the Sawyers and treat my riding clothes prior to heading there but anyone have reports on that area?
    Similar here in Chico. I'm sure there are ticks around, but in over 10 years of riding and hiking in Bidwell I thankfully haven't seen any yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Similar here in Chico. I'm sure there are ticks around, but in over 10 years of riding and hiking in Bidwell I thankfully haven't seen any yet.
    Sweet... ok good to know Boomn!

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    Permethrin is toxic to bees and aquatic life:
    Permethrin

    maybe the tick twister is the least toxic method of Limes prevention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by notrab View Post
    Permethrin is toxic to bees and aquatic life:
    Permethrin

    maybe the tick twister is the least toxic method of Limes prevention.
    I'll take Permethrin preventative over the twister all day, every day, and twice on Sunday. If you've reached the point where you're removing an embedded tick, you could easily already be hosed if you hit the lotto with a carrier tick. Then, it's up to you to make the call and get to a doctor and hopefully get the antibiotics that hopefully work. No thanks!

    Responsible use and application really makes it nearly impossible for the product to be introduced to the water and bees. Not belittling the concern but short of doing something really stupid with the product, I'm trying hard to see how introduction to those environments could happen on any scale that could raise concern.

    D'oh! This reminds me...I gotta go spray my new compression socks I just bought today. Have a trail workday tomorrow and will be in Tickville, USA for a few hours!

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    Permethrin works. At least 5x this ride.

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    ^^ Are those lil' buggers dead, already? The way this stuff works is so cool. Something we can't see or smell on our clothes, and it smokes those little f'rs just for crawling on us!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    ^^ Are those lil' buggers dead, already? The way this stuff works is so cool. Something we can't see or smell on our clothes, and it smokes those little f'rs just for crawling on us!
    Yup, dead before the end of the ride! Never saw a live one. Well, the ones the no permathin guys pulled off were alive.

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by notrab View Post
    Permethrin is toxic to bees and aquatic life:
    Permethrin

    maybe the tick twister is the least toxic method of Limes prevention.
    Don't spray it on bees and don't go wading wearing treated clothes.

    Permethrin is a godsend for those that don't enjoy a good tick bite.
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  49. #49
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    I am not really a Patchouli wearing hippie purse kind of guy, but I am curious if anyone has had good luck or any luck what so ever with essential oils and tick prevention. If you did what were the circumstances?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TraxFactory View Post
    I am not really a Patchouli wearing hippie purse kind of guy, but I am curious if anyone has had good luck or any luck what so ever with essential oils and tick prevention. If you did what were the circumstances?
    Chrysanthemum essential oil should work but pyrethrin is the active ingredient and probably less expensive.



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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    I just read on the Sawyer site that it is safe for dogs.

    Safe for dogs but fuc7s up cats
    Well, that's ok then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Haven't really had to worry about ticks here in NV. While we have them, I have personally never had one or seen one on anyone. We have picked them off my FILs dogs in the past but that was after they has been rummaging through bushes in a heavily forested, rural area.

    I will be riding in Chico at Bidwell park in a couple weeks. Planning to grab the Sawyers and treat my riding clothes prior to heading there but anyone have reports on that area?
    I haven't ridden Bidwell in years, but from what I remember, there aren't a lot of spots with overhanging brush, so I'd imagine it's pretty safe.

    I think I've found one tick on my dog after riding Hogan all these years. Tick (ha!) another box for Hogan!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    I'll take Permethrin preventative over the twister all day, every day, and twice on Sunday. If you've reached the point where you're removing an embedded tick, you could easily already be hosed if you hit the lotto with a carrier tick. Then, it's up to you to make the call and get to a doctor and hopefully get the antibiotics that hopefully work. No thanks!

    Responsible use and application really makes it nearly impossible for the product to be introduced to the water and bees. Not belittling the concern but short of doing something really stupid with the product, I'm trying hard to see how introduction to those environments could happen on any scale that could raise concern.

    D'oh! This reminds me...I gotta go spray my new compression socks I just bought today. Have a trail workday tomorrow and will be in Tickville, USA for a few hours!
    I just hit all my gear with the Sawyer spray. Leave it outside for a day to dry and air out and it's usually good for a month or two.

  54. #54
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    Just finished a road trip fron Squamish to Sea Otter and back. We rode 7 days straight and had a killer time.

    My gf did pick up a tick twice though and they did embed. I pulled them out of her within 1-3 hours of exposure however and disinfected with alcohol after. So hopefully no risk.

    The first tick she got was on day 1 in Marin at Mt Tam and the second was on day 4 in Nisene. Little bastards!

    I’ve been paranoid of tiny potential nymph tick bites ever since. Hope we’re all good!

  55. #55
    NRP
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    Was at Red Hills yesterday and found three ticks crawling around when I got back to the car. Pretty freaky little bastards.

  56. #56
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    ticks are out. picked off 3 on me and 4 off dogs last two times at santa theresa. ticker remover should be part of every ride bag. when you remove them cleanly, the chance of lyme disease transmission is much lower. I got hte twisty type ones with high ratings from amazon.

    lyme disease can cause a bunch of long term health problems, get the removals.

  57. #57
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    Thanks for the info. I thought I was good with some old DEET spray and full body clothing over at Waterdog, but after reading all this info I ordered some of the 0.5% Permethrin spray. I will make sure to keep it away from cats until dry too, yikes.

    I'm not sure about all the various tick removal tools. I read a while ago to use needle nose pliers on the head, and pull out carefully. Even one of the tools basically has those type of pliers built in for humans, and a quicker tool for pets.

  58. #58
    J-Flo
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    The tick situation in the Bay Area is currently at epic proportions, unprecedented in my 6 years of MTB riding. It used to be we had to go to China Camp to find ticks, now they are everywhere. Undoubtedly due to the strange winter.

  59. #59
    Mr. Buck E. Fikes
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    Down here on the CenCoast, it was off the charts this year but last year was really bad, too. It's starting to mellow, now. The grasses are starting to turn and droop. I'm not hearing the reports of ticks quite as much as a couple-a-few weeks ago when it was all ablaze. With that, I am very well covered with permethrin since the beginning and I have been bushwhacking very heavy, thick chaparral a lot over the last few weeks as we are flagging a new trail at MdO State Park. Those of us 4 that aren't wearing treated clothing are seeing ticks. I spent 4 hours in the thick today and not 1 on me. This treatment is the cat's meow!

  60. #60
    sbd
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    Same in Ukiah. Always bad in the spring. This spring is insane. My dog had 23 after our last ride. Good lord.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  61. #61
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    [https://www.menshealth.com/health/a2...lf-from-ticks/

    They don't mention much about treating clothes your self but seems like it should perform as well.

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