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Lyme Desease on the AT

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    • Lyme Desease on the AT

      Interesting article, and timely for me as I plan to hike thru the Heart of Darkness this summer as I pass thru MA, NY, NJ and PA. The author did sampling all along the trail and found this:

      Despite sampling multiple times in each state, no ticks were collected from GA, NC, TN, MD, CT, VT, NH and ME. While sampling occurred from mid-April until September, ticks were only collected between May 29 and July 21; other dates failed to collect ticks. Ticks became common as I hiked the AT from central Virginia to Massachusetts through mid-July. This is the time and location to be most alert. Elevation-wise, ticks are most abundant at <2000’. Not coincidentally, much of the AT from Maryland north through Massachusetts is <2000’ so is higher risk. While Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine also have a high incidence of Lyme disease, it is believed that most cases are attributed to densely populated lower elevations. Most of the AT terrain in these states is >2000’, so is lower risk. - See more at: lymedisease.org/news/touchedby…html#sthash.qIuhMnc5.dpuf


      Maybe I should start my hike in late July ...

      He also discusses where he found them, and his own protection plan, which resulted in zero ticks on his bod - despite actively seeking them.

      Lyme is a personal issue for me. My sister contracted lyme but it went undiagnosed for several years. She has spent a fortune battling the disease, the medical community, community health boards, and insurance companies - The latter three being split as to whether chronic lyme is a thing, leaving any proposed treatment plan uninsurable, and potentially threatening the doctor's license to practice.

      I'll be wearing permethrin treated long trousers, long sleeve shirt and hat this summer ...


      [IMG:http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/images/statstables/LD_2013_dot_map_550px.jpg]
      -
      L.Dog
      AT 2000 Mile LASHer '12-'15
    • anecdotal observations mean next to nothing, but the only place i had ticks on my thru was in the northern half of the snp. none were of the small lyme carrying type, and i was able to easily dispatch them with my swiss army knife tweezers.

      the most dangerous animal on the trail are not bears. its ticks.
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      anecdotal observations mean next to nothing, but the only place i had ticks on my thru was in the northern half of the snp. none were of the small lyme carrying type, and i was able to easily dispatch them with my swiss army knife tweezers.

      I found a couple of very small ticks on me in the section just before SNP this year. Same as your's, mine were not deer ticks.

      the most dangerous animal on the trail are not bears. its ticks.

      On this we agree!

      laughingdog.com/2012/03/ixodes-scapularis.html
      -
      L.Dog
      AT 2000 Mile LASHer '12-'15
    • LDog wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Thanks for sharing as I plan to this same section with the addition of finishing VA along with MD and NJ.

      Yup, Looks like we'll be crossing paths someplace along the way. I'll be the guy wearing long trousers in the heat of summer.


      I will be wearing shorts myself, but do hope to see you out there.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I'll be wearing permethrin treated long trousers, long sleeve shirt and hat this summer ...


      I tried this during a summer heat wave in MA, nearly got fullblown heatstroke, and ended up blacking out briefly. I take Lyme seriously give that I've been treated for it three times in the last decade and average a couple of dozen tick bites a year, but I won't be wearing long clothes in the worst of the summer heat again.
      >>>Advertise here! Affordable rates and no long term contracts. Send a PM for more details!<<<
    • I have had ticks on me on the AT in Mass. from May to September. I support all methods of tick protection however I believe the best way to avoid tick diseases is to check yourself right after you pee in the morning and right before you get in your sleeping bag. Of course this means you need to be very flexible to get to part of your back so when it is possible ask someone to look there. This is by far the most dangerous thing about LD hiking IMO.
    • I bought the Sawyer spray permethrin, 24 oz. I planned on soaking my clothes but opted for the spray instead. Now I'm having second thoughts. Will spraying be okay or should I return it and do the soak method?
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • TrafficJam wrote:

      Since I've never had problems with ticks, I'm going to use the spray.
      I'm sure it will work just fine, certainly a lot easier that the dunk and dry method...I hear ventilation is very much a necessary thing. I don't know what it was but about 20 years ago I sprayed some flea and tick powder on my dog. I must have got a lung full, cause within 2 min my throat started closing up, anaphalaxia??? Luckily my wife was home and took me to the emergency room which was near by. Don't remember what they gave me, but said don't ever use that product again.
    • TrafficJam wrote:

      I bought the Sawyer spray permethrin, 24 oz. I planned on soaking my clothes but opted for the spray instead. Now I'm having second thoughts. Will spraying be okay or should I return it and do the soak method?
      Spray works well, I've used it on my clothes and shoes, now have it on my hammock bug net to keep them from biting through when my arm is against the net, spent last night out and didn't see any mosquitoes at all, without it they would be swarming.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • AnotherKevin wrote:

      Be sure to use enough spray. You really need to get the garments wet.
      I'm pretty sure I used more than recommended. The bottle said it was enough for 3 complete outfits. I did two tee shirts, a long sleeved shirt, a skirt, and 3 pairs of socks and used almost all of it.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • More Findings on the Link Between Japanese Barberry and Lyme Disease

      BY DEBBIE ROBERTS

      nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/…arberry-and-lyme-disease/


      Excerpt:


      The Problem With Japanese Barberry

      Once established, Japanese barberry tolerates a wide array of site conditions, from full sun to shade and it’s not overly picky about soil conditions. It reproduces through seeds, rhizomes or layering and forms dense thickets that choke out native wildflowers and tree saplings. Berberis thunbergii is a prolific seed producer and it’s seeds are estimated to have a 90% germination rate. Birds eat the seeds and carry them for a few hundred yards, depositing them in areas where the Japanese barberry can take hold and quickly choke out most other plants. Breeding programs to develop ‘sterile’ Japanese barberry cultivars may be misguided since past history with other sterile cultivars of invasive plantshas shown they sometimes cross-pollinate with the wild species

      The Link Between Japanese Barberry, Ticks and Lyme Disease

      Ward and Williams’ research has shown that Japanese barberry infested forests have approximately 120 ticks infected with the Lyme disease bacteria per acre. Compare that to approximately 10 infected ticks per acre found in forested areas with native trees and shrubs and no Japanese barberry. It seems that stands of Japanese barberry retain humidity. And ticks need an environment with about 80% humidity to actively feed, quest and reproduce. By measuring humidity levels above and at ground level under the barberry foliage, Ward and Williams found humidity levels under Japanese barberry dipped below 80% for only one hour per day. In open, sunny areas with no Japanese barberry, the exact opposite is true. The humidity levels rise to 80% for only one hour each day. White-footed mice, a known apex host for Lyme disease also thrive under the canopy of Japanese barberry. The combination of mice and a tick population this is active almost all day long appears to be a potent mix that is leading to a public health epidemic in many states.

      Why You Should Care

      At this point, you may be thinking so what? I don’t have Japanese barberry in my garden and I don’t live near or spend time in a forested area with lots of Japanese barberry so how does this affect me.
      In addition to creating the ideal environment for ticks, stands of Japanese barberry also tend to increase the levels of nitrogen in the soil. At the same time, the number of earthworms in the nearby soil almost doubles.
      In our gardens, earthworms are welcome visitors. But in Japanese barberry infested forests, they are devouring the leaf litter which should act as a protective covering for the soil. Less leaf litter means loose soil, more erosion, less tree regeneration and less wildflowers. Nitrification and low levels of leaf litter also add to storm water run off which affects the quality of water in our reservoirs. If you drink water, you should care about Japanese barberry infestations.
      >>>Advertise here! Affordable rates and no long term contracts. Send a PM for more details!<<<