Tick season is in full swing, and if you’re anything like me, just the thought of the blood-sucking parasites is enough to make the skin crawl.
Deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease and are becoming more prevalent in our part of the world, scare me the most because they’re so tiny—barely larger than the head of a pin in some cases.
The more common wood ticks are larger, but they still can be problematic when they become attached. I react horribly to tick bites, which leave a welt that itches and burns sometimes for two weeks or more.
In an effort to keep ticks at bay, I’ve started wearing light-colored clothes when traipsing through the woods, even going so far as to pull my socks over my pants cuffs.
The look might be a bit on the nerdy side, but it’s better than getting bit by a tick.
A couple of weekends ago, I spent a day in the woods of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Minnesota with Donna Dustin and Kyle Kessler watching them capture and band woodcocks.
Banding woodcock requires traipsing through the woods in the heart of tick season in an area loaded with the parasites, but Dustin had a solution to the tick problem in the form of the Lymeez Tick Gaiters she wore around her legs. The gaiters, which attach around the lower leg, are treated with permethrin, a chemical regarded as the most effective tick repellent there is. When ticks crawl onto the gaiters, they’re exposed to the chemical and either fall off or die.
The full-length adult gaiters retail for $29.99, while a shorter lime-green version costs $18.