Tick Bite Kills

NJSnakeMan

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Jun 3, 2004
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This was posted on Jerseybirds:

Subject: Fwd: Very important! Dave Evans cause of death
From: Laurie Larson
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2006 13:36:23 -0400

Jerseybirders,

Dave Evans' family wants this information to reach the birding
community:

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Judy Evans Vinosky
> Date: June 9, 2006
> Subject: Very important! Dave Evans cause of death
>
> Dear Laurie:
>
> Thank you for posting the death of David Evans on the birding
> site. Many of his birding contemporaries were able to attend the
> memorial service. >
> We have gotten the preliminary report for his cause of death which
> should be communicated to the birding community as quickly as
> possible. David died of a tick borne disease called Ehrlichiosis.
> The Infectious disease specialists have suggested that anyone who
> was birding in the areas that he was during the week prior to Big
> Day (most of New Jersey) should probably have a blood test done for
> Ehrlichiosis. The symptoms could be flu-like symptoms, or just
> general tiredness and lethargy. They stated that the disease is
> common in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, but is found throughout
> the Northeast states, Texas and California.
>
> For those that knew David, they would remember that he was
> exceptionally healthy. He ran the NYC marathon and played
> racquetball on a regular basis. This disease killed him in a VERY
> short time. His wife Kitty and I would feel that we have neglected
> our responsibilities to our friends and fellow birders if we did
> not get the message out about this very dangerous disease.
>
> If at all possible, could you post this as a warning to the birding
> community so no one else will suffer our great loss.
>
> Thank you for everything.
>
> Judy Evans Vinosky
>


Ticks can carry _both_ Ehrlichiosis and Lyme bacteria at the same
time, and victims can have both infections. Ticks carry other
diseases as well. More information on tick-borne diseases:

www.ilads.org
www.lymenet.org
http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/

Laurie
 

Teegate

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Thanks for the post.

There is always a risk involved when exploring the pines, and we all should be very vigilant when arriving home to check ourselves very carefully. I have found that your car is the place that you should be most concerned about. I have gone to work on a Friday after being in the pines the weekend before, and have found them crawling on me hours after arriving there.

Here is what I do to lower the risk since I am in the pines every weekend.

Get them off as soon as possible.

Go directly to the bathroom when arriving home and put your clothes in the sink and shower immediately, checking yourself for them while there. Remember to bring your glasses if you wear them :) Take your clothes right to the washer after showering and wash them in hot water and dry them in the dryer as hot as possible. If possible put them in the washer when you come home before showering. Check the sink and bathroom for evidence of them and kill them. Do not throw them down the toilet. I have done that and they come back.

On hot days close the windows of your car and park it in the sun. I have found that at the end of the day they are dead from the high heat. I then drive to the carwash and sweep my car thoroughly that night if possible.

Each time you get in your car after this look around when you first get in and start moving. They come out of their hiding spots and try to get to you. Keep Jessica's secret weapon, the lint brush, in easy reach.

Guy
 

dragoncjo

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Aug 12, 2005
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What I do when I go out is bring a extra pair of shorts. Before I even get in my car I take off all my hiking clothes and place them in a bag and tie it tight. I then do an inspection of my entire body, I adopted Guy's lint roller technique, which works good for getting my back and back of legs. Once I get home I leave them in the bag for a day or two, then soak them outside. I agree with Guy the worst spot is my car, it seems like they find me the second I get back in there, even if it is days later. And the worst part is if a family member takes my car, I couldn't live with myself if one of them got sick.
Chris
 

foofoo

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Sep 14, 2003
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very sad story. 2-years ago i went on safari in south africa. they have things called pepper ticks. just like our ticks but smaller. you can get a thing called tick bite fever. i was told to keep doxycycline on hand. if i felt any flu like symptoms i was gonna start popping them. maybe those who spend time in the field often should get a prescrition for these type infections from there doctor and have some on hand just in case. also if you have some duct tape you can make a reverse ball of it and with the sticky side pull all kinds of critters off you. works great on chiggers especially!
 

WAMBA

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Mar 20, 2006
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thats really scary. thanks a lot for posting this cause i wasn't even aware that ticks could carry such a fatal illness. i'm going to start being more careful about getting them off now, as there's been times that i've missed one in the shower and found it embedded the next day.
 

Boyd

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Some thoughts about ticks

I've spent a lot of time during the past month clearing trails and bushwacking on my land, so the topic of ticks is near and dear to me. My procedures are pretty much like Guy's:

• tuck pants into socks
• tuck shirt in
• spray clothes heavily with DEET
• stay vigilant and brush ticks off as I spot them
• strip down on my back doorstep, leave hat and shoes outside
• clothes get tossed into the washer on my way to the bathroom
• shower and scrub

This works pretty well, and I've only had maybe 4 or 5 tick bites in the last month. But I'm arriving at the conclusion that DEET is pretty much a waste of money and is not at all effective against ticks. Do any of you feel otherwise? I'm not worried about treating exposed skin because there isn't much of it and I'll notice ticks there. The other day I sprayed my shoes, socks, pants and shirt heavily and sat on a bench in the woods for about 2 minutes. Then I noticed 3 ticks crawling up my pants which were still moist with the DEET (Deep Wood Off) spray! Yesterday evening I did the same thing and took a 20 minute walk, staying on trails the whole time. I paused to rest for just a few seconds and looked down at my shoes. They were covered with literally dozens of the little deer ticks! This sent me right back to the house and directly into the shower!

Today I was googling "ticks" and came across the following, which I found interesting (although about 10 years old): http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/696_flea.html

On clothing, use a repellent containing permethrin. However, do not apply it to clothing while it is being worn, and allow the clothing to thoroughly dry before wearing.
Now I've been wondering if there might be a more effective insecticide so this caught my attention. Today I got a can of "Repel Permanone" Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent which contains 0.5% permethrin. My I just soaked my clothes with it as per instructions and hung them out to dry, so in a couple hours I'll see if this stuff is the "magic bullet" I've been looking for :)

When I moved recently I somehow lost my tweezers, so I just picked up a pair of Cross "Tini-Tweeze" at CVS today and they look like something handy for tick removal - they come with a little carrying pouch and have sharp points:

http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jsp?CATID=302946&navAction=jump&navCount=2&id=prod9944

If you look at bottom of the page that FDA website it discusses ehrlichiosis (the disease that killed the unfortunate person who is the subject of this thread). Fortunately, it seems pretty rare:

CDC received reports of 415 cases of human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis, a disease also transmitted by ticks, since it was identified in 1986. It is similar to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but usually without the rash. In 1994, scientists identified another similar disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, or HGE. About 170 cases have been reported.
Finally, this looks like a good movie to curl up with and feed your paranoia:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108339/

Plot Summary for Infested (1993) aka "Ticks"
Problem teens in Los Angeles join an inner-city wilderness project in and attempt to get back in touch with life's priorities, led by do-gooders Holly and Charles. When they get to the campsite, they begin having problems adjusting to the wild life, particularly local marijuana growers using herbal steroids to accelerate plant growth, and the mutated ticks that the leaky steroid system has created.
 

Teegate

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Nice post Boyd!

Usually around July or so the ticks seem to be less of a problem, so hopefully the same will occur this year.

I see the Editor of that movie is making one now called " My Suicide". Maybe he got a tick disease :D

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0709752/

Guy
 

Boyd

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Thanks Guy. Well, here's a preliminary report on the permethrin spray. It works!... up to a point that is. I was out for around 2 hours today, bushwacking through lots of vegetation in the swamp. I only saw two ticks on my pants and none on my shoes. Afterwards, I walked around the same trails as the other day and sat on the same bench. Those crafty ticks actually lie in wait on the bench and they started climbing up my pants. One of them jumped off all by himself. I picked the others off.

But here's the interesting thing. There were 4 of them immobilized on my socks. They weren't dead, but looked like they didn't feel well (heh, it's a great feeling knowing you made a tick feel bad :dance: ). I think it helped that I wore heavy wool socks and treated them thoroughly with that stuff. The coarse texture of the wool put a lot of the permethrin in contact with them. I really soaked my shoes with that stuff too and like I said, didn't see any ticks on them today.

So anyway, I'm going to continue using those clothes for the next few days (or until they get too nasty) and renew the treatment as per instructions. It isn't the magic bullet I wanted, but it does seem to help.

Wow, "My Suicide" sounds like a barrell of laughs:
My Suicide is a dark teen comedy about Archie, an isolated high school geek who becomes the most popular kid in the school when he announces he's going to kill himself on camera for his final video class project.
 

WAMBA

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Mar 20, 2006
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hahaha i remember catching some of that movie on the scifi channel years ago and it was awful! then again that seems to be a prerequisite for scifi channel movies...
 

ecampbell

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Jan 2, 2003
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I had Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis simultaneously in the spring, summer and fall of 2000. I also have babesiosis, can't get rid of it (think malaria). My hands and wrists were swollen, several of my joints were frozen for months and I was taking 2400 mg of ibuprofin a day. Finally in November I was catheratized and put on 2 grams of Rocephin a day for 28 days. Within 1 week the sweeling went down and so did the mussel aches, but breaking my joints free meant litteraly being put on the rack. Four years later I could do most of the stuff I did pre disease, but I still feel some stiffness.

A really good tick link in PDF:

town.boxborough.ma.us/Deer%20Tick%20Ecology.pdf

Take ticks VERY seriously.

Ed
 

foofoo

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i was gonna mention permanone. i soaked my cloths with that stuff and it worked great for me. any ticks i got on me looked like they were walking on the sun. you have to allow time for it to dry so do it at least the night before. i think the can says it will last a couple washes too. i wish you could spray it on your skin but i guess its too toxic.
 

Boyd

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The can says to wait at least 2 hours for drying, or 4 hours in humid weather. It also says the chemical bonds with the fabric and should be effective for at least two weeks, and you should not re-treat for at least two weeks. Like you said, they also claim it can still be effective after washing. FWIW, the stuff I'm using came from the sports dept at WalMart, where they have camping supplies. A 6 oz can cost $4.96 and the label says 3 oz is sufficient to treat an entire outfit.
 

Boyd

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This stuff really works

Here's an update on the permethrin spray. I'm really impressed - it seems to keep the ticks away very effectively. Today I spent over 5 hours clearing trails and bushwacking through the swamp. Not a single tick, except one that was stalled on my sock and looking sick.

I realized where I had been getting ticks before, and solved that problem. I have a few simple wooden benches out in the woods, and the ticks seem to like the view there as much as me! When I looked closely the other day there were more than 10 of them just waiting for me! Pretty sneaky, those ticks. But I fixed that - I sprayed the benches with permethrin also and now there aren't any ticks on them.

So I think this stuff works really well, even after leaving my clothes on the line out in the rain to rinse off. Hopefully it won't poison me or give me some terrible disease!
 

Teegate

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Boyd said:
Hopefully it won't poison me or give me some terrible disease!

That is always a concern. I hate putting anything on, but the ticks have been so bad this year.......

Guy
 

Boyd

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Give that stuff a try... I think limited exposure to the chemicals vs the possible complications from tick bites is a reasonable chance to take.
 

woodjin

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I was at wal mart and picked up a deet spray that is 100% deet! That's right. The most I found before that was 40% deet (sportsman max off) I think Sawyer makes it. It claims it can be used on the skin. I will give it a shot. If I grow any extra appendages (or any I have now drop off) I will let you know.

Jeff
 

Boyd

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Off also has 100% DEET spray, I think it's called "Sportsmen's Off" or something like that. It comes in a little pump spray bottle instead of a aerosol can. Tried it, hated it. See what you think. I found the odor really objectionable, and the pump spray is designed to cover small areas instead of your whole body. Also pretty pricey for the small quantity you get. It did not seem effective at all for ticks, just like the regular stuff.

I'm still convinced that DEET just doesn't work for ticks. Maybe it helps with mosquitoes, but ticks are my main concern....
 

Boyd

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I just did a little Googling and the following which may be of interest:

http://www.tickinfo.com/permethrin.htm
Test on ticks conducted in Massachusetts concluded that 100% protection was provided against the Deer tick (Ixodes Scapularis) which is the primary vector of Lyme disease in the Midwest and Northeast. The same outstanding results occurred when testing the Western Black Legged tick, Lone Star tick, American Dog tick and Brown Dog tick. Similar results have been found with other tick species throughout the United States and Europe. Two detergent washings did not diminish repellent killing action of permethrin-treated uniforms. In tests, ticks that crossed only 10 inches of treated fabric fell from the uniform, later dying due to this limited exposure.
http://www.dph.state.ct.us/BCH/infectiousdise/tickborne/tick.htm
A synthetic pyrethroid insecticide rather than a true repellent, permethrin works primarily by killing ticks on contact with the clothes and can provide high levels of protection against tick bites (and mosquitoes). Permethrin is available as a 0.5% aerosol spray, mainly in lawn and garden centers or sports stores. Permethrin has low mammalian toxicity, is poorly absorbed through the skin and is rapidly inactivated by the body. Skin reactions have been uncommon.
http://www.wildernetwork.org/deet_vs_permethrin.html
DEET is an excellent mosquito repellent, but it is a fairly poor tick repellent. The reason we are inundated with so many DEET repellents is because there are several huge corporations that manufacture hundreds of variations of DEET products. Only a few manufacturers use the more effective tick repellent ingredient approved for human use: 0.5 % permethrin.
http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/ento/facts/MosTickRepel.pdf
Permethrin repellents offer excellent protection from ticks and chiggers. Permethrin repellents are formulated for application to clothing.
Also note this, regarding those 100% DEET products:
Tests have shown that DEET products containing a high concentration of DEET do NOT offer greater protection than products containing 20-50% DEET.
http://www.projo.com/health/content_projo_20060602_ticks2.22056d44.html
While Mather has in recent years studied ways to reduce the tick population, the best defense against being bitten and contracting Lyme disease, he says now, are repellents with the active ingredient permethrin.
The chemical, which is sprayed onto clothing, shoes and socks, kills ticks and last for weeks at a time and through several washings.
Some apparel companies such as L. L. Bean sell lines of clothing with the odorless permethrin already in the fabric.
Permethrin, says Mather, is far more effective than repellents with deet, which has been used as a repellent for years. And unlike deet, the chemical isn't used on the body.
http://www.northcountrytrail.org/news/permeth1.htm
In this test the permethrin was applied to the uniforms of soldiers who were working in heavily tick-infested areas. The troops spent five days in coastal Maryland doing field training, which included crawling on the ground.

Uniforms of soldiers which were treated with the repellant resulted in about half the number of tick attachments on the people wearing those uniforms. The chemical actually bonds to the fabric, and is more than a repellant. It will actually kill ticks that walk across treated clothes.
There's more - just type "permethrin ticks" into a Google search. Now there were also some health concerns about permethrin, but it sounds like if it's used according to directions it should be pretty safe. There are a lot of concerns about DEET as well. "Your mileage may vary," but my personal experience is that permethrin works and I'm surprised that I never heard of it before. I think there could be a germ of truth in that quote above about big companies pushing DEET...