My tick obsession has not faded, despite kind reassurances by experienced Challengers. I won’t be walking in my usual shorts at least until I cross the Corrieyairack.

I’m clearly not the only one concerned, since there is a thread on the subject on the TGOC Message Board. I’ve just posted there about what I’ve learned to help keep ticks away from my succulent flesh. I’m repeating that info here, with a couple of links:

“The US Department of Defense has done studies on the best ways to avoid tick problems (I bet the MoD has, too). Inspection and physical removal turned out to be the least effective approach to avoid problems. The most effective steps to take are these three:

“1. Treat clothes with permethrin. There are two approaches. The short-term one I’ll take involves spraying clothes — not while you’re wearing them 🙂 — with special attention to collar and cuffs, and hanging them out briefly to dry completely. This treatment is good for just about two weeks. Perfect.

“2. Treat exposed skin with DEET. (I’ll be using something called Ben’s 30, which has 30% DEET, the amount recommended by the Center for Disease Control as being best to repel ticks.)

“3. Wear long sleeves and trousers, tuck shirt(s) into trousers, tuck trousers into socks or gaiters.

“I know many people are wary of chemical insect repellants. Having seen the possible results of tick infection, I choose to use them for relatively infrequent periods of relatively short duration.”

Actually, the first recommendation is to avoid tick-infested areas, but that sounds like wishful thinking, for my route at least.

That’s it. Hope it helps.


Tickytactics — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Mark,
    some people had dozens of ticks on last year’s Challenge and some, me for instance, had none. I never wear shorts, I always wear a goretex trouser. I didn’t use any repellent and passed the Tomdoun Hotel (Glen Garry) in the morning. Lot of ticks over there. I think it all comes down to common sense and a bit of luck.


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