Ticks & Chiggers--a study

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,250
2,502
Pines; Bamber area
In an effort to be more aware of tick Identification, I started pulling them off my clothes and bagging them for photo study. Let me know if I've misidentified any of these. Numbers 4 and 5 bit me before I started using permethrin for the season. I pulled them out cleanly, and tried my luck at not scratching the bite hole at all. This diminished the misery somewhat as they healed faster. Also, using an ice cube on a bite for about 2 minutes (rubbing the bite) stopped the itching for two hours.

1) Lone Star Tick -- Adult Female
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2) American Dog Tick-Adult Male

2.JPG


3) Lone Star Tick--Adult Male

3.JPG

4) Lone Star Tick--Adult Male

4.JPG

5) Lone Star Tick-Adult Female

5.JPG
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,250
2,502
Pines; Bamber area
8 days in a sealed bag? No problem. This female lone star is still lively. I just covered her in a water alcohol mixture. That ought to settle her down. It works for some of us!

6.JPG
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
This male lone-star latched on to my pants today. The view on the left is without alcohol, the one on the right is after alcohol. Note how the alcohol makes the colors pop. This fellow survived 20 minutes in a 50-50 alcohol/water solution, so I just put him in a freezer. Note, the bottom photo is him upside down. Note that the "star" shows. Sue, I thought the star might have been unique to the female?

7.JPG
7A.JPG
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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Sue Gremlin

Piney
Sep 13, 2005
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Vicksburg, Michigan
I dunno. :)
Not actually sure if all males have that, or just yours. It looks like it's something in rather than on. It could also be gut contents about to...exit. Since the spot is right above the anal pore. I don't think it's a sperm packet, because the genital pore is the thing at the top of that oval-ish groove in the belly.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,250
2,502
Pines; Bamber area
#8 is a female American Dog Tick, a vector for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Tularemia. Was in Sussex County yesterday, along the Kittatinny ridge. It was lousy with ticks....many, many ticks. All were this one.

8.JPG
 

Diablo2424

Scout
Sep 1, 2016
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Okay, so I have to ask, as this will be my first summer out hiking through the pines. What are some of the best preventative measures one can take to avoid coming out covered in ticks/chiggers?

Is there a spray of some sort I can cover my legs/feet in before I leave the car to keep them from latching on to my? or is my best defense, just wearing tight, hiking boots and maybe taping my jeans closed at the top of my boots?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,250
2,502
Pines; Bamber area
Diablo! Yeehaaa! Come to the cantina with me for a drink of tequila.

Use this product according to the directions. Do not use it the day of the hike unless you forget to the day before.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sawyer-P...75035&wl11=online&wl12=19887389&wl13=&veh=sem

Also, stay away from jeans. Use a light colored pant so you can see the little pests and flick them off with your fingers. And stay away from convertible pants....the nymphs have been known to squeeze in by the zipper. Same goes for pants that have built in ventilation panels...there is a chance they can fit in there.
 
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Diablo2424

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Sep 1, 2016
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Diablo! Yeehaaa! Come to the cantina with me for a drink of tequila.

Use this product according to the directions. Do not use it the day of the hike unless you forget to the day before.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sawyer-P...75035&wl11=online&wl12=19887389&wl13=&veh=sem

Haha, thanks man! Yeah, I look forward to meeting some fellow NJPB members, I'll have to come to the next meetup!

Awesome, thank you! I'll pick that up and be sure to set a reminder the day before to spray my clothes and shoes! I am going for the photo op's (I post all my photos on Instagram @mattcandy), the hiking is the positive benefit (I sit all day at work, I have to get moving somehow on the weekends!)
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,250
2,502
Pines; Bamber area
Diablo (Amigo!), in case you did not read my edited post, here is more.

Also, stay away from jeans. Use a light colored pant so you can see the little pests and flick them off with your fingers. And stay away from convertible pants....the nymphs have been known to squeeze in by the zipper. Same goes for pants that have built in ventilation panels...there is a chance they can fit in there. If you are partial to more cotton than nylon (I am the reverse), these are what I"m talking about.

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/82220?feat=504250-plalander
 
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Jon Holcombe

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Dec 1, 2015
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What are some of the best preventative measures one can take to avoid coming out covered in ticks/chiggers?

Based on the expert advice that I have received on this forum, my routine is to spray ALL of my clothes with Permethrin: hat, boots, socks, pants, shirt etc.
https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Produ...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=QCSDRQB5SPY9ST287R2N

Spray Permethrin at least 2 to 4 hours before wearing the clothes. Sawyer says the treatment lasts for up to six washings or a month, but I spray every two weeks regardless, and after I wash clothes 2 or 3 times max.

I then spray Picaridin (Deet is good too but a bit more toxic IMO) on all exposed skin (hands, neck, face) and on boots and my pants up to my knees. I then spray my hat. If I am going into heavy brush I overspray Picaridin on everything that I have treated with Permethrin.
https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Produ...9&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=picaridin+spray&psc=1

After coming home I put all clothes in the dryer on a 12 minute cycle to kill any ticks, then wash and dry clothes again.

Sawyer claims that both Permethrin and Picaridin are effective in repelling both ticks and chiggers, but opinions about that vary. I will say that for me, this routine has worked.

So far, in almost two years of doing this, I have not found any ticks at all on my clothes or skin while in the woods.

You did not mention this but for biting flies, I bought a headnet (again on advice given to me here). This thing works perfectly, and allows me to stand still and take photos. I have tried insect repellent for biting flies, but they like me just fine even when sprayed, so I use a physical barrier.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UMY2P6Q/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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Diablo2424

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Sep 1, 2016
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Wow, thank you guys for all of the info! I will definitely have to pick up those products! Also, my wife works with Doterra essential oils, so I'll pick her brain about some oils as well. I know peppermint will make ticks back right out, if they have bitten, but I'd rather prevent them from getting on me in the first place, much easier solution to the problem, haha
 
Feb 1, 2016
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Camden County, NJ
Wow, thank you guys for all of the info! I will definitely have to pick up those products! Also, my wife works with Doterra essential oils, so I'll pick her brain about some oils as well. I know peppermint will make ticks back right out, if they have bitten, but I'd rather prevent them from getting on me in the first place, much easier solution to the problem, haha
Regarding prevention I have significantly cut back on any off trail or even narrow trail hikes when Ticks are active. To the best of my knowledge....ticks cannot fly.....they cannot jump. So based on that I try to limit or eliminate any place where they can crawl on me from grass (especially), shrubs, trees, etc. I try to stick with the advice John Holcombe posted above as far as additional prevention (Permethrin/Picardin) but reducing exposure to where ticks can get to me is number one priority. I carefully inspect my boots and clothes when I get home and 15 minutes in the hot dryer would kill any I missed. I realize that level of avoidance is not possible for some folks as their hiking plans may dictate off path or narrow path travel but in general that's the course of action I take. Mid January and below freezing? Off trail all the time :)
 
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