Brian Davis (brian@SETON.COR.NET)
Wed, 2 Aug 1995 09:43:06 -0500
Ok, I'll bite on this one, since, as a resident and frequent camper in
Texas, I'm REAL familar with ticks and the common Redbug (chiggers).
Here's some info I've gathered either through experience as a Scoutmaster,
or by working as camp medic, or by talking to Doc Forgey.
Ticks and chiggers are bugs from a similar genus. They are not
mosquitoes, and therefore products containing DEET will give no real
protection form them. For best results, spray a Permethrin based product
on your clothing (including your hat), and allow to dry. Re-apply if the
clothes get wet.
The Permethrin actually kills the bugs by contact. It works pretty
well. You can also use powdered sulpher on clothes and exposed body
areas. It works pretty well on chiggers, but not as well on ticks (in my
experience). The permethrin works well on both. The sulpher is also
prone to washing off in rain or through perspiration.
Removing chiggers takes a little time, regardless of the method used. In
any event, many "home remedies" just make the little devils pack up and
move to another area of your body (as does frequent scratching), thus
making the infestation appear (and feel) much worse.
For best results, apply clear nail polish or a product like "Chigger-Rid"
(which works just like nail polish) to an area about an inch in diameter
around the bite. Leave it on for a few days. This suffocates the
offender, and prevents him from re-locating to some other part of your
anatomy. It helps to apply a little Rhuli gel or some other itch
preparation to the bite area for a little while before applying the nail
polish. This seems to make it itch less.
For ticks, you have two objects - To remove the passenger, and to "bring
him back alive" so he can be tested. I carry ziplock bags to return
ticks for testing (my council forwards them to a disease control center
to be tested for Lyme disease (must be alive) and Rocky Mountain Spotted
DO NOT burn the tick, douse him with kerosene, etc. as this just makes
him spit up the contents of his lunch into the bite wound, and whatever
pathogens he may be harboring along with it. Pinching him will do the
DO take a small nibbed tweezers, and grasp him as near the mandible (jaw)
area at the front of his head as possible, and rapidly pull him straight
back and out of the wound. There are some small tweezer-like products
now on the market designed especially to perform this task. Save the
tick in the baggie, and send him off for testing. Once the tick is gone,
disinfect and clean the wound.
I hope this helps....
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