We shot clay targets at Ed’s the other day. He had a battery-powered trap across the hay field and a spring trap on a post. When we called pull, we didn’t know which would come first, the incoming clay bird or the outgoing bird. We all decided we liked his set-up as much as the one at the farm, so we’ll have to alternate.
But, what I wanted to tell you about were the number of tiny ticks that clung to shooters’ blue jeans if they got anywhere near the tall grass. I suppose they are at the farm, too, but we’ve been walking on the lane or mown grass and haven’t seen any yet. but It’s time to spray our pants with Sawyer Permethrin aerosol. I buy mine at Walmart in the camping aisle. It comes in a tall yellow can and the label says it will coat four outfits. I’ve found that it will do four pairs of jeans to the crotch with none left over for shirts or socks, but over the years, I’ve found it’s enough unless I’m stomping through thick brush.
In the fall, I’ll spray shirts, socks and hunting pants and I’ll probably coat several shirts this year during dog training. It’s not exactly cheap to spray everything, but worth it considering Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases that are becoming more common in our area.
Sawyer claims that once sprayed and dried, fabric will kill ticks for six cycles in the washing machine.
I try to keep track and spray them again after five washings.
The other product they make that I won’t go outdoors during the summer months without is Picaridin insect repellent spray. For years, I used Uncle Ben’s 100 percent Deet, but had to take care around polyester fabrics, fishing line, expensive fly lines, fishing rods and stock finishes on guns. The stuff would kill mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers, but it would dissolve plastics and gun finishes, too.
Also, there were warnings about using it on babies and youngsters, and was told to wash it off once back inside for the night. Picaridin doesn’t dissolve fly lines or damage rods and guns and is safe for babies over 6 months old. Plus, it’s just as effective protecting against mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects.
Not to sound like a public relations guy for Sawyer, but there is another product you can find at Walmart that I keep handy. It’s their snake bite kit. Not that I plan to have a rattlesnake or copperhead bite me, but you never know.
The kit has several suction cups that fit over bee stings and will draw out the poison quickly. Some folks are allergic to bee and wasp stings, not-to-mention yellow jacket bees that travel in packs. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve seen folks allergic to stings and the bee venom use the Sawyer kit and get on with their life instead of looking for an emergency room.
You can find these products online, but the camping section at Walmart usually has enough and I think the prices are reasonable.
Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Zika, and West Nile Virus are ugly diseases and not how I want to spend my summer, so a little insurance with insect sprays is worth the price and time needed to get ready for a summer outdoors.