By Bill Kleiman
The black flies of the Simuliidea emerged this week and congregate in the woods, especially areas with low wind. They will be a nuisance for a few weeks. And ticks are occasional. Mosquitos will be here soon. I thought I would share a few tips to deal with pests.
The bug net worked very well today. I forgot I had it on and could do all I wanted in the woods. The little pouch it comes in I hang from a carabiner off my pack or belt loop. The insect shield means it was dipped in permethrin pesticide at the factory, but I am not sure that was needed.
Permethin on the left by Sawyer is a pesticide you spray on clothing to ward off ticks and chiggers. On the right is Picaridin, which is what you put on your skin for mosquitos and such. Picaridin is nice in that it does not stink like DEET, nor does it melt or discolor plastic items like sunglasses and clothing. It is a lotion you rub on your skin. It works well.
Permethrin. I lay out my clothes to treat and wear a glove while spraying. You don’t want the solvent on your skin. You do a heavy spray on the clothes and let them dry for several hours and then they can be worn safely. This will repel ticks and chiggers and lasts for many washings. I spray mine maybe twice a season. I lay items like socks on top of treated items and spray them to save this expensive chemical. I spray my boots and hat too.
You can also send clothing items to a company and they will dip them in a vat of permethrin and this apparently works well.
On the right is a tick & chigger gator. It has permethrin on it too. I rarely wear these as we don’t have many ticks or chiggers at Nachusa. But Mike Saxton at Missouri Botanic Garden says they work well.
Don’t let the pests keep you inside.
Insectshield does not have those cool head nets any more 😦
BTW, their $99 deal (Treat as many items as you can stuff in a big tyvek envelope, I can fit 4 long sleeved nylon shirts and 4 pair nylon pants!) is the BOMB. With careful washing/gang dry, it lasts all season!
Permethrin works well…can’t imagine doing field work in Missouri without it. On a bad day, the crew and I will get 100+ ticks each on our pants. It’s night and day different from my many years working in the Nachusa/Chicagoland area. The tick/chigger gaiters are essential too…they dramatically reduce the numbers of chiggers we get and we find less ticks under our permetrin pants when we wear them.
P.s. – having a lint roller in your truck/Mule is a perfect tool for removing tick bombs (clusters of “seed ticks”). Duck tape on the brim of your hat is a MO fav as well.