It is that time of year again. Ticks seem to be everywhere. I find them on me every time I work outside. My family went camping a few weeks ago and found at least two dozen ticks on our tent after coming back from a walk in the woods. Ticks are a nuisance and are also a health hazard for pets and people. Thankfully, there are things we can do to control the tick population in our area and to control how they affect us.
Ticks are parasites that latch on to the skin of both animals and humans to suck the blood of their host. This can cause nasty infections that can lead to sepsis and other serious health issues. In addition, ticks carry serious diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, Relapsing fever, Colorado tick fever, and Babesiosis. Some of these diseases can be fatal if not treated quickly. Because of these potential health issues, it is important that we are proactive about controlling ticks and reactive when a bite occurs.
Related: The Seven Diseases That Will Wreak Havoc When SHTF
Overall Population in Your Area
The number of ticks you will see in your area is based on a few different variables. Typically a great deal of moisture and a mild winter will increase the overall tick population. The beginning of the tick life cycle is the egg, and one tick can lay anywhere between 2,000 and 18,000 eggs. To control the population, you can start by eliminating eggs. Certain types of ticks will lay eggs indoors in carpets and other fabric, and other types lay eggs on the ground in protected areas outdoors. If you find the area where eggs have been laid, you can spread salt over the area to destroy the eggs or burn them immediately! If you spread it across a carpet inside, just vacuum up the salt after about a week or carefully take the carpet outside and burn it.
To help control the ticks on your property and in your home, there are additional measures you can take. Pets are a key point to consider. Often ticks are brought into the home on dogs and cats. Be sure to treat your pets with a flea and tick medication or with a flea and tick collar. This will help control these pests before they make it into the home. In addition, there are contact sprays you can use on your lawn and landscape to kill ticks before they make it into your home. Sprays like Talstar will kill any ticks with which it comes in contact. However, there is no residual so it must be reapplied several times throughout the active season.
Related: Similar to Morphine: The Best Natural Painkiller that Grows in Your Backyard
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
When you are ready to head into the wilderness for a hiking or camping trip, there are additional steps that can help ensure you remain tick free. Insect repellent with Deet is a common option for repelling ticks from your skin and clothing. However, the best option for treating clothing is a chemical called permethrin. This product is applied to clothing only and allowed to dry. After an application, the product will kill ticks within 30 seconds of contact and it normally is effective until the clothing is washed. If you do not like the idea of chemicals, there are bracelets that you can purchase that do a decent job of repelling most insects. There are also subsonic devices that use sound waves to repel insects. You can find plenty of natural insect repellents, but the general consensus is that they are not as effective as synthetic products.
Related: 23 Survival Uses for Honey that You Didn’t Know About
What to Do with a Bite?
If you have been bitten by a tick, you must be careful about how you remove it. If you simply pull it off, it could leave the head buried beneath your skin. This can cause an infection and can further contribute to the potential for disease. For years the most common way to remove a tick was to strike a match, blow it out, and use the hot match head to burn the tick. It was supposed to cause the tick to release from the skin. However, it often made the tick dig in deeper. Some people would smother the tick with Vaseline or fingernail polish, but this caused a similar reaction. The worst thing you can do is to squeeze the tick as it causes the parasite to spew its internal fluids into your blood stream. The best option is to wet a Q-tip, and then gently roll the body of the tick around in circles until it releases from the skin.
Ticks are dangerous pests and need to be taken seriously. However, there is no need to let them ruin your summer if you take the right precautions. Do what you can to control the population, treat your pets and yard if possible, and use repellent to keep them off of your body. Do a ‘tick check’ every time you come in from the outdoors, and safely remove ticks that you find immediately. With these actions, you can safely enjoy the outdoors and keep ticks from entering the equation.
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My generation was taught “Only you can prevent forest fires”.. Not knowing that Controlled Burns are a necessary thing in this country and many Native Americans did it all the time. Yes we will always have Ticks with us. But if we ALL started doing safe controlled burns? The population of these critters would decrease.
The “Native Americans” did their burns more for the new growth of grass. At the right time burning off last years grass meant stronger and more plentiful grass for the year. That meant more food for the wildlife which meant more food for humans.
When John Muir first visited Yosemite Valley there were no trees in the valley floor due to the Indians burning off the dead grasses every fall. They did that so the deer would come down to the valley floor every spring. Made deer hunting much easier than chasing them through the hills. Of course the Park Service stopped that practice as soon as they took over. Now the valley floor is covered with trees. All of the geological features that made Yosemite famous were easily visible standing on the valley floor. Now most of them are hidden by trees and require one to walk, bike, take the bus or drive to see them. Inasmuch as one cannot hunt deer in Yosemite Valley these days, I can’t decide which plan has more merit. Ansel Adams would have to do a lot more work to get the photographs he took back in the gud ole days.
Well, Gene, there is an economic picture that enters into the equation that most folks don’t consider. In Kallyforniya, a controlled burn is performed during regular work hours. It starts and ends in one shift. No overtime. Instead of sitting in a cool a/c fire stations waiting for a call to go stand around and watch the ambulance crew work on an old guy like me having a dizzy spell, they have to dress out, go out in the field and perform firefighting work. Then go back to the station and clean up the truck and gear the next day. All that on regular time. Now contrast that with fighting a forest fire. As soon as the clock ticks over at 8 hours, the fire fighters go on overtime. That continues until they return to the station and change shift. A fireman whose regular salary is $50,000 a year can easily make well over $100,000 a year with the overtime generated by fighting field and forest fires. So what would you rather do? Fight a controlled burn at regular rates or fight a burn at overtime rates? It applies all the way up the ranks. Safety members (fire, police, the guards at the doors to state buildings, probation and parole officers, prison guards, highway patrol, fire marshals, I don’t know who else has gotten in on that gravy train, can and a great many of them do, retired at a higher retirement pay than their base bay when they were working. So while this post appears off topic, I think it partially answers Gene’s question about why we don’t have more controlled burns.
Because controlled burns have not been conducted for so long they too, have become hazardous. It is the ignorance of mankind that will kill us all off in the end.
I think we have had enough forests burned all over the world thus far, too many people enjoy setting and watching things burn to allow ALL of them do “controlled” burns. Be careful what you say in public, they are watching.
Kat, what the heck are you talking about? Your content is not understandable.
Ticks really can be bad this time of year. Chiggers also. Keep your legs covered and brush off before coming inside.
One of my neighbors has a bunch of guineas that have the run of the neighborhood eating bugs of all kinds. They keep down the flea and tick populations as well as a whole host of garden pests. Plus they’re a lot of fun to watch.
They also make excellent burglar alarms. Peacocks also can scare away the thieves.
Oh yea ? Have you ever heard a guinea hen squawk. I found one at a spring where we used to get spring water in milk jugs. Sweet ,cold, water. Anyway, a hen kept coming around. So next day I got a box a stick, string and some corn. We put out the corn trail that led under the propped up box. The hen came out ate the corn. My young daughter pull the string from inside our truck. Viola ! A free guinea hen. But she insisted on waking me up every morning at sunrise. She flew up onto the rood outside my bedroom window and squawked till I talked to her. We finally had to give her to a friend who had chickens ! Great tick & bug eater but too noisy !
When we lived by the Hudson River in New York State, at least one person in every house on the road got Lyme disease at least once. Two of the women who got it were outside only to walk to their cars. HOWEVER — they both had animals, one had cats, the other had cats and a dog. I was always outside gardening or planting bulbs on weekends, and developed Lyme disease 5 times. That’s FIVE times. After the first time, when I almost bought the farm because it took a year and a half to find an MD who would agree to give me a Lyme titre — and he doesn’t get that much credit because by then I had lost the ability to walk, speak, or hold my mouth shut, had Bell’s palsy, and probably a vacant stare. After a month on an IV of 4X the recommended dose of Rocephin, a penicillin family antibiotic that cost $8000/week [that’s the right number of zeros], I no longer went outside without looking like the woman from Mars: full-coverage lab coveralls, Hunter boots up to my knees, rose gauntlets up to my elbows, and a finest-mesh beekeeper’s hat — and I still got bitten 4 more times. Those times, at least I got the nice, round bulls-eyes — and was married to a man who looked at my body!, and went straight to antibiotics. I bought 2 dozen guinea fowl, which I was told by the DEC were supposed to be the only critter that found the little ticks worth bothering with. It turns out that guinea fowl have about a 25-mile range every day. So up with the sun, and off they tore — presumably to eat ticks somewhere else. They always came back at night to roost, though. They do make what some consider an awful racket, but they also love to be whistled to! Or maybe just certain songs.
The black-legged ticks are only dormant when it’s freezing, so we mustn’t relax our guard. Two of the times I was bitten were in very warm Februaries — 88 degrees for a week, once. We figured that somehow they got tracked into the house. I wasn’t rolling around on the ground outside to get bitten on my left shoulder blade once, or the back of my leg once. So now I make people take off their shoes by the door, just in case.
After that, it seemed like the better part of valor to just get outta Dodge. Some places are just infested, and human’s don’t build up enough immunity to fend off the little suckers.
Some genius had the idea to stuff a bunch of cotton balls with a tick repellent — maybe pyrethrins? — on them into cardboard tubes. The white-footed mouse, apparently the main vector for the ticks, takes the impregnated cotton balls out of the cardboard tubes to line its nest. Voila! Dead ticks! Or maybe just dead spirochetes.
Speaking of which: Spirochetes, the bacteria that carry Lyme disease, divide very slowly. Staph and strep divide every 20 minutes, compared to 12 – 72 HOURS for spirochetes. You get infected by a strep bug, within 3 days, you have a fever, your throat is raw, and you feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. So you get help. The down side of the slow division of spirochetes is, symptoms develop very slowly, and, if you’re like me, you blame your joint paint or foggy brain or headaches or muscle weakness or whatever on old age, or lack of exercise, or too much on your mind — which are all real things, of course, but that gradual adaptation keeps us from recognizing that there’s a problem, and taking up arms against the real bad boys.
In a SHTF scenario what do we do? Prevention is the only real answer. I’ve stocked up on Ben’s and Cutter’s and Off!, and am going to get more pyrethrin dust. And seeds of the one kind of chrysanthemums to make my own. This from Wikipedia: “The pyrethrins are a class of organic compounds normally derived from Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium that have potent insecticidal activity by targeting the nervous systems of insects.”
This is not a conspiracy or an exaggerated concern, folks. Ralph White, who was the head of the department of health that specialized in tick-borne disease in Albany, NY, said that, if not for the awareness of AIDS that came along about the same time, Lyme disease would be viewed as the greatest scourge of the 20th century.
Thank you so much for your wisdom. That was the best information I have ever read ! I am heartily sorry for your sickness! I am happy that you are still with us. What a story. Those ticks are horrible. I can not believe God crated them. I do believe they can sense us by our body heat and smell. We are careful and spray and search ourselves every day. I got some on me just opening our driveway gate. They seem to drop from the trees high up. I never touch grass or plants at the gate. They are relentless to say the least. And yes, they do get a free ride on shoes , as my daughter found some recently. God bless and be with you always .
Love the story!!!
My sister has guineas, there are no mosquitos! My adult grandchildren were fishing at her lake all night. Not 1 person was annoyed or bitten by a mosquito. Great job Guinea Hens!!!
What was the picture that was on the tope of this page? I didn’t see anything to describe it. The article just started talking about ticks.
So, what the hell is in the picture?
Tick eggs: https://bloodylymey.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/tick-eggs-2.jpg?w=630
the very top picture is NOT tick eggs.. the other pics are..
Will is 100% correct. Top purple photo is NOT tick eggs…..and DO NOT start random burns in the woods for any reason
I don’t think I overlooked the answer. What is the glob in the picture?
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT…this has so many good health benefits, good for blood pressure, cholesterol, but it is the best way to fight a tick bite.
Taken at the first signs of an acute viral infection, such as generalized achiness, nasal congestion, sore throat, and fatigue (worsening of these symptoms acutely if they are part of the usual Lyme disease symptoms), OLE could limit the course of the virus infection or may even stop it in the first 24 hours.
Some individuals with chronic Lyme and associated diseases also have active chronic virus infections (CMV, EBV or HHV-6) that contribute to the illness. OLE support treatment of these viruses, as well. However, treating these viruses requires six months or longer. Many healthy people have evidence of these three virus infections. Therefore, testing will help determine if these common viral infections are active enough to require treatment in a person with chronic Lyme disease. Furthermore, individuals with marked elevation in IGG antibodies may require treatment with antiviral like OLE or prescriptive antivirals like Valcyte.
Top picture is frog eggs!!!! Do not burn!
I use Springtime Bug Off garlic granules for my pets, (dog & cat, but can also use it on other animals, like goats, horses, etc) and no ticks, (within a 2 wk or so time period), my 12lb cat gets 1/4 teaspoon 1x a day, and my 22lb dog gets 1/2 tsp a day, not only do we have no ticks,the fleas race to get off my animals! They also make chewables that break apart, flavored with real beef liver, to make it easier to give. I eat a clove a day of garlic, I, too, am bug free. An we don’t have to use chemicals!
You can get both bug off chewables and powder at http://www.springtimeinc.com go to the dog section for garlic for dogs & cats, and the horses section has the garlic for the larger animals.
I hope you realize that there is no scientific evidence (homeopathy doesn’t count) that garlic is in any way effective in warding off ticks, and plenty of scientific evidence that it is, in fact, toxic to dogs in large enough amounts. Do your own research.
Why would you give even small amounts of poison to an animal?
Remember: correlation is not causation.
Looks like that bear had the runs.
Don’t think that is tick eggs.
I agree with rk. That looks like poop from some large animal that has been feeding on berries of some sort. If I saw that in my yard I would probably scoop it up and toss it in the trash. I don’t think the photo has been enlarged looking at the grass. I wouldn’t think ticks would lay eggs as large as the tick itself. I’m certainly no entomologist. Flunked out of insect school because I couldn’t pronounce “Culex quinquefasciatus.,” but that looks like large animal poop.
Well, I stand corrected. I went to the link that Claude Davis provided. Now you know why I am not an entomologist. I won’t throw stuff like that in the trash. I will burn it or pour lots of salt on it. Like the Old Gunny said, “Don’t try doing work outside your MOS.”
A drop of peppermint essential oil will make a tick let go of it’s bite and it will start running away.You catch and kill it. Put a drop on it and in less than 30 seconds it will let go and try to get away from the oil.
My grandmother always used peppermint oil on the tick, it took about 15-20 seconds and the tick decided I wasn’t worth the trouble. It would back out and take off. I guess the oil would burn him. The bite would never get infected.
I watched a tick get a peppermint oil bath on another site. It didn’t take the tick long to back out and haul off. The operating words here are “peppermint essential oil,” which is stronger than the peppermint flavoring you buy in the spice section of your local grocery store. I don’t know for certain, but I suspect there are no natural ingredients in the peppermint extract or flavoring on the grocer’s shelves. Like so many flavorings, it probably was mixed up in the spice company’s lab and never saw a scrap of peppermint leaf. You most likely can get peppermint essential oil at a health food store. It’s on my “Things-to-Do” list.
Haha… Fake news. That isn’t a pic of tick eggs. It may look like than, but the individual eggs are far too big to be ticks. If it is, the tick that laid them is as big as a grape, and that’s before it ate… Tick eggs are much much smaller. This pic has been around for a while, and people keep falling for it. It is a hoax.
Well, I don’t know if they are tick eggs or not. I went on line to see if I could determine what size eggs ticks lay. Encyclopedia Britannica had nothing on the size of tick eggs, nor did Wikipedia. However, Snopes did have a comment on the picture of the black items and the picture of the tick and what purported to be tick eggs. Snopes concluded that the identification of the black items was not proved. They did comment that the black items looked like dewberries. So what those black objects are is anybody’s guess.
That said, however, the rest of the advice is worth considering as ticks are at best a nuisance and are vectors of some debilitating diseases and should be avoided. There are useful hints in the article and in the responding posts. If nothing else, the article opened up discussion about a topic that will be of vital interest to preppers if a catastrophic event occurs. When medical help is scarce or non-existent, avoidance of disease will be far more important than it is today and prompt treatment of tick infestation is part of that avoidance program. Remember, if you want a big deer harvest in the spring you have to burn off the grass in the fall.
Am I the only one that reads this stuff that’s been to the woods? That there’s called raccoon poop where I come from. It looks like that all through spring and early summer. Why do you want to burn raccoon poop? And what does raccoon poop have to do with the recent tick hysteria. And it surely is a hysteria – like global warming, and DDT, and agent orange, and West Nile, and Trump’s a Russian agent, and Sandy Hook was staged, and racist police shooting blacks every day with impunity
Agent Orange, hysteria??? Tell that to my brother who we put in the ground two years ago after suffering the effects of agent orange since returning from Nam while the VA claimed otherwise for years and refused treatment and now admits to it but to late for hundreds of vets like my brother. Know what you are talking about before you run your mouth
posums eat ticks and at least they are good for something
Excuse me, Charlie Mac, I’m certainly not a woodsman on a par with Bullseye. I thought it looked like poop but could not identify the animal. However, I do know the difference between a possum and a ‘coon and they are not the same animal. Both are edible if one is hungry enough but a possum is a lot easier to trap than a ‘coon — at least that was my experience. Others may have a different take. You might wear a coonskin cap but you probably would not want a possum tail handing down on the back of your neck. Possums eat anything and everything. They are a four-legged garbage disposal. Raccoons are just a tad fussier about what they eat although they too are omnivores. Shake hands with your cousin Ring Coon, Festus.
If you don’t want ticks or chiggers use Permethrin. My wife and i used it on our clothes–and yes even on our skin (in spite of warnings not to do so). It doesn’t absorb into your skin and bloodstream like Deet type insect repellents do. Permethrin kept us tick and chigger free for thirty years. The stuff isn’t a repellant–it kills them and any other bug or spider that gets on your clothes.
That top picture doesn’t (the one that says “If you see this burn or salt it”) show a nest of tick eggs. What is pictured is more then likely either a mashed berry or a sort of amphibian egg. Tick eggs and egg sacks are actually quite a bit smaller in size and are a different color entirely. See the website I have linked to find out what an actual nest of tick eggs looks like.
Mom always had us powder up with powdered sulfur before going berry picking. I’ve used it to dust my yard & it got rid of tick & chiggers for half of the warm season. Just put it in a lawn spreader & cover the lawn twice a year. The lawn treatment has a side effect though, your dogs & cats lay on the grass & get a treatment too!
Best part is it’s cheap, all natural & won’t harm you or your plants.
I haven’t bought flowers of sulfur since I experimented with making my own gunpowder back in high school. I doubt if you can buy it at the corner drugstore like I did where it was possible to buy flowers of sulfur and potassium nitrate at the same time. Now if you did that you well might get a visit from the ATF Division of HSA. I grew up in a different country. This country and especially kallyforniya are not the country I knew as the USA when I was growing up.
The druggist (no veterinarians for household pets in those days) suggested flowers of sulfur mixed with lard for the dog when it had a horrible case of the mange. I don’t know if it was the druggist’s recommendation or the white paint my younger brother coated the dog with so he wouldn’t get sunburned without any hair that cured the mange or the turpentine that my mother used to clean the paint off the poor dog. One of the three is a very effective mange cure because it wasn’t a week until the dog was growing a nice coat of hair and the mange was completely gone. Or all three although from this vantage point that seems like overkill.
I am no expert either, but IMHO: there ARE some insects who’s larva is larger than the adult; the formation of the overall group is very similar to the eggs pictured in the article’s other photos, i.e. grouped around the blade of grass; whereas coon scat is going to land on top of the grass, and is usually at least the shape of something exiting a body, not a blob like that. & the grass may be enlarged a bit, it’s a tad wide & we don’t know what variety of grass it was, it is straw in the photo. Just sayin’…
My Rugrats devour their toasty porridge, frolick outdoors in their warm mittens then rug up to popcorn and a flick under Nanna’s fuzzy knitted blankie
Regarding tick removal. When the tick burrow in it’s saliva turns to cement to lock it in place to prevent it from being brushed off. I have found that a drop of lavender oil will melt the cement/saliva to make extraction easier and also sanitize the wound.
tick biting you? light a wooden match, blow it out and IMMEDIATELY put it to the ticks rear end. he don’t like heat hot stick and will leave.