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Grayjay
05-19-2008, 06:15 AM
The question is deer ticks. Has anyone found them on their person during/after hiking in the Whites? I took a 5 minute walk in Moultonboro a week ago and found a female deer tick on my pants. I have a strong feeling they are moving north in the valleys at fast clip.
What is it like hiking in the Catskills, where they are so bad, or is it primarily in a valleys?
I know 3 people in the Conway area with long term Lymes. The medical profession is catching up so slowly on this. Any comments on that?
When I grew up, I could not imagine being afraid to walk across a field, like I am when I go out to the Hudson River Valley.

jime
05-19-2008, 07:42 AM
For the first time ever, in NH, I had a deer tick on me last week. I live in Claremont, NH and I'm pretty sure I either picked it up while looking for wild plants with my daughter or over on Mt. Ascutney. If we have them here, you can bet they are in the Whites. Because I wasn't sure how long it had been on me the doctor took it off and gave me a dose of antibiotics. He said that he had seen two cases of Lyme Disease in the past couple of years but that the ticks are especially bad this year.

His advice? Use lots of DEET, cover up all exposed body parts when possible and check yourself frequently. He also said to check the dogs and make sure to check their bedding and mine if they get on the bed. I asked him for his recommendation on removal and he said to carry two sets of tweezers which is better if the tick is deeply imbedded. Use one set to hold down the skin and the other to pull it off. He said to forget all the other stuff that I'd heard. And if you even think that it might have been on you for more than 24 hours get some meds just as a prevntitive measure against Lyme Disease. :eek:

Chip
05-19-2008, 08:41 AM
Everyone reading this may know this, but if you saw it, it probably was not a lyme disease carrying deer tick.

http://www.canlyme.com/tick_nymph_hand.jpg
This is a good site that describes the different types of ticks. (http://www.canlyme.com/ticks.html)


We're probably in the heart of it here and it's not something I worry about. I've had Lyme at least once and have been treated twice. The Target Rash and Migraine are normally enough for a Doc here to phone in a prescription as the tests are not conclusive. If your Doc is looking for a positive test response before treating you, find another Doc.

DrewKnight
05-19-2008, 09:13 AM
His advice? Use lots of DEET, cover up all exposed body parts when possible and check yourself frequently.

Actually, as I learned in another thread a week or so back -- lots of DEET probably isn't the trick: DEET vs. BugOff Challenge (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22305).

With respect to pets -- one thing I learned, as I followed up on sourcing 55-gallon drums of permethrin for human use, is that Advantix and other flea-and-tick treatments apparently use permethrin as an active ingredient. If you're concerned about your dogs bringing in ticks, this might be worth checking out.

MichaelJ
05-19-2008, 11:56 AM
I just had my first deer tick. If you can get it off in the first 12 or 24 hours, and get to a doctor within 72 hours, they can give you a one-time dose of antibiotics which will take care of any potential Lyme as well as the skin at the site of the bite.

Otherwise, it's 21 days of antibiotics (doxycycline).

Dugan
05-19-2008, 12:03 PM
As always, consider the safety of all of your companion animals when treating them or your house for pests. I would not use permethrin because it is highly toxic to the cats in my home.

daxs
05-19-2008, 12:17 PM
The bulls eye rash can be absent in over 25% of cases of Lyme disease so you cannot rely on the rash alone. I've treated several patients for lyme disease who never had the rash. A very careful and detailed patient history is really the key to diagnosis. Lab tests include a screening by enzyme immunoassay followed by a western blot. Long pants, long sleeves, pants tucked into boots, DEET on exposed skin and permethrin applied to clothing are helpful. Do a tick check after outside activities. The tick needs to be attached for about 24 hours to transmit the bacteria. Avoiding edemic areas of course. Here is south jersey the ticks are all over the place so avoiding endemic area would be difficult.

dom15931
05-19-2008, 04:35 PM
I have never had a tick hiking in the Northeast. But on a side note, as a surveyor in Pennsylvania, I can tell you that they get bad down here! I pulled off four two weeks ago and missed one. Yes five in one day. :eek: Had to get treated as I had the bullseye rash. They are really bad this year.

When people clear large sections of land this can lead to an explosion in tick populations. I would imagine low elevation trails in grassy areas and ski trails to be the most likely are to pick these bad guys up based on my knowledge.

Avoiding brushy, tall grass is your best bet anywhere as that is where the ticks 'wait' to jump on to their host. Always check yourself when in an infested area, especially if you find one, there are probably more. Ticks in your hair are the hardest to find. If are wearing shorts/short sleaves they will likely climb several inches above the seams and begin to burrow. It is of utmost importance to receive treatment within 48 hours of a tick bite. Beyond that the longer the wait, the more the chance of a severe case of Lyme's presuming the tick was carrying the infections disease.

I have to deal with these sickening things all the time!!!


Interesting thread.

Dom

cushetunk
05-19-2008, 05:22 PM
Everyone reading this may know this, but if you saw it, it probably was not a lyme disease carrying deer tick.

http://www.canlyme.com/tick_nymph_hand.jpg
This is a good site that describes the different types of ticks. (http://www.canlyme.com/ticks.html)



I used to believe that the lyme carrying ticks were small and hard-to-see. Then I got lyme from a big tick that I saw quite clearly.

marty
05-19-2008, 05:33 PM
I used to believe that the lyme carrying ticks were small and hard-to-see. Then I got lyme from a big tick that I saw quite clearly.

Hi cushetunk,

By "big tick", do you mean an adult deer tick, or another type of tick altogether?

Thanks,
marty

bikehikeskifish
05-19-2008, 05:37 PM
Or was it big because it was engorged?

Tim

MichaelJ
05-19-2008, 06:57 PM
An unengorged female deer tick's body is about the size of Roosevelt's ear on the front of a dime.

Only the nymph and larval stage are the "smaller than a poppy seed" size that one may have read about elsewhere.

Kevin, Judy and Emma
05-19-2008, 07:36 PM
We've pulled several dozen off of Emma, maybe 50 or more. The Frontline doesn't seem to be working this year. We are going to switch to Advantix to see if this works better. They are extremely prevalent here in Southern NH right now, I have killed several I have found on myself this spring. Only one had burrowed, but was not gorged. I have had no ill effects.

KDT

Grayjay
05-20-2008, 04:33 AM
Another question for those with good memories. How long have ticks (deer and dog) been around in the NE? Many of us grew up without them in any quantity to speak of.

Chip
05-20-2008, 06:49 AM
Interesting article on the relationship between acorns, mice, moths and deer. (http://www.ecostudies.org/people_sci_jones_acorns.html)

Obviously ticks and Lyme existed before Lyme Disease was "discovered" in 1975. (http://www.lyme.org/otherdis/ld_history.html)

I believe the fact that most of PA, NJ, NY, CT and MA were clear-cut for farming and lumber 100 to 200 years ago probably kept a lid on the animal populations involved and the spread of the disease in the northeast.

jime
05-20-2008, 07:42 AM
Everyone reading this may know this, but if you saw it, it probably was not a lyme disease carrying deer tick.

http://www.canlyme.com/tick_nymph_hand.jpg
This is a good site that describes the different types of ticks. (http://www.canlyme.com/ticks.html)


We're probably in the heart of it here and it's not something I worry about. I've had Lyme at least once and have been treated twice. The Target Rash and Migraine are normally enough for a Doc here to phone in a prescription as the tests are not conclusive. If your Doc is looking for a positive test response before treating you, find another Doc.

My Doc positively identified the tick on me as a deer tick and it was definately very visible. Good point about how small they can be, though.

slowmo68
05-20-2008, 01:03 PM
Interesting how the treatment differs so much from doctor to doctor. My daughter got severe lyme disease.We found it on her approx 36 hours from bite time. She had the rash and we rushed her to the doc. They gave her 21 days of antibiotics. Someone I know had 4 kids get bitten by and infected by deer ticks (thats southern Maine for ya) and 3 were treated with 21 days and all ended up with lyme disease, 1 kid was treated with 28 days and did not get lyme. So my daughter was treated with 21 and ended up with lyme. After the fact when confirmed by western blotter test we demanded 28 days of antibiotics and she has been symptom free ever since. Another friends dad was diagnosed with lyme disease by the VA in Togus ME and they gave him 6 months of antibiotic treatment. I hear different treatments all the time. I was criticized by the hospital for wanting 28 days before my daughter contracted the lyme and told that the correct treatment was 21 days. To me an extra 7 days of antibiotics compared to what ended up happening is total BS. I can't seem to go on a local hike in Kennebunk/Wells this time of year without getting the he bee gee bees from multiple deer ticks attaching to me. I have never had a tick attach to me in the Whites or Western Maine Mountains.
Sorry the post was so long but this is a sTICKy subject
Chris :)

Quietman
05-20-2008, 02:14 PM
We have a neighborhood cat that freeloads at our house. We have 2 indoor cats, so we don't let him inside. So far this spring, I have taken 15+ ticks off of him, about half were dear ticks. The last 2 were engorged nymphs that were so small that the only reason that I saw them was because they were on his eyelids.

BTW: This tool works very well Tick Removal tools (http://www.otom.com/homepage.htm)
Picked them up at my Vets office, works great on humans too!

bikehikeskifish
05-20-2008, 03:12 PM
Do you really need to twist it? What undergoes twisting? The tick or the host's skin? The tick doesn't have a threaded drill of course so you aren't really unscrewing the tick. Twisting must make the opening wider and cause the hooks to lose their grip?

Tim

Chip
05-20-2008, 03:56 PM
Twisting must make the opening wider and cause the hooks to lose their grip?

Tim

I guess that helps with the:

"without leaving the mouth-parts of the tick planted in the skin.
without compressing the abdomen of the ticks, minimizing the transfer agents (Lyme's disease, babesiosis...)"

Nice new Avatar composition, BTW !

Dugan
05-20-2008, 04:01 PM
Quietman - that is my tick removal tool of choice too.

walker
05-20-2008, 05:04 PM
Heres' a link to the magazine " Northern Woodlands" with an article about Ticks. It's title is appropriate for this link...It's "Tale of the Tick: How Lyme Disease is Expanding Northward".
Maybe just a little too comprehensive :eek:

Tale of the Tick: How Lyme Disease is Expanding Northward (http://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/tale_of_the_tick_how_lyme_disease_is_expanding_nor thward/)

Catch you on the long brown path.....Walker :D

bikehikeskifish
05-20-2008, 06:04 PM
I guess that helps with the:

"without leaving the mouth-parts of the tick planted in the skin.
without compressing the abdomen of the ticks, minimizing the transfer agents (Lyme's disease, babesiosis...)"

Nice new Avatar composition, BTW !

Thanks... I'm tempted to put the Red Sox in the middle but it won't go with the user name.

I've read about using a straw to guide a loop of thread (slip knot) around the tick for the same reason - to not squeeze anything out of the tick. This resembles your basic claw hammer pulling out a nail. The twisting part is interesting -- I was interested in whether or not that would twist the head off and leave it in the host. I've always been able to detach embedded ticks using tweezers, although I may have squeezed them in so doing.

Those of you who use this -- what happens with twisting? Does the tick twist or the skin of the host?

Tim

Quietman
05-20-2008, 07:48 PM
I twist fairly slowly and have always gotten the whole tick. Last week I pulled a fairly large engorged tick off and put it on white paper to try and ID it. It started to crawl, and then two nymphs crawled off of it and tried to get away. They were both deer ticks. I'm not squemish, but that was pretty gross!

Chip
05-22-2008, 07:53 PM
I twist fairly slowly and have always gotten the whole tick.
I just got bit tonight after doing my hill-avec-pack workout at our highschool. Got in the car to drive home and felt a tickle on my knee - dug it out with my nail before I could stop to think. I'll watch the spot. Odds are no Lyme will be contracted.