I will spare my readers a gross picture of the bane of nature photographers, the tiny Tick! Such a small creature is a hazard to those of us who spend our time walking through the meadows and other wonderful outdoor spaces. There are several varieties and they can spread pathogens such as Lyme, among others. So as we emerge from our winter hibernation, as nature and landscape photographers you should know that ticks are also more active during the warmer months of April through September.
I don’t think any of us need to become experts on the varieties of the ticks or the disease they can carry, but knowing how to minimize the risks of contact with these little creatures can help keep us healthy. When hiking stay on established trails when possible. This is always good advice and goes back to the “leave no trace” philosophy. Your greatest risk is likely in tall grass where the ticks hang on waiting for a ride on the next warm blooded animal that comes along. Wearing light colored clothing will help with seeing these little creatures if they are crawling on you. But I think the best possible advice is to use clothing treated with Permethrin. Denise and I favor a brand called Insect Shield. You can buy clothes that have been treated or you can send your clothing to them for treatment. While I have found ticks on me when wearing Insect Shield treated clothes, I have never been bitten. On the other hand I have been bitten when not wearing clothes treated with Permethrin. The benefit to buying clothes vs. spraying yourself is that the do it yourself method only lasts for about 2 weeks and 1 or 2 washings. The professionally treated clothes will last for up to 70 washings or what is considered the life of the garment.
The CDC Website has additional information on the subject; http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/
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