I found out this morning that there are consequences to footwear choice. OK, I knew that already and wear orthotics to correct a few things. But lately I have been wearing my Muck Boots similar to what some folks know better as “Wellies”. Aside from protecting my feet while in water and very wet meadows, they also are easy to tuck pant legs in for tick protection. Unfortunately, they offer no support and while hiking this morning I experienced a bit of a muscle pull due to said lack of support. It was a steady limp for the 1 1/2 miles back to the car. I’ll have to try another strategy to fight off the ticks.
During today’s hike in the Quabbin, someone I ran into suggested that to repel ticks I spray my clothes with permethrin which sounded a little scary. But upon looking around, it turns out that, if used properly, it is safe when applied to clothing and allowed to dry. LLBean and others sell bug repellant shirts treated with it, Mary Beth wears one, and they cause no ill effects. We still have to apply DEET to our skin as permethrin cannot be used that way. It does not wash out in the laundry for several washings.
Permethrin kills ticks and other biters by attacking their nervous systems. I’ve linked to an article from the University of Rhode Island stating the relative safety of Permethrin. The spray is available from most outdoor outfitters. I guess it is used quite a bit by fly fishermen/women. I am going to give it a try. If there is no problem then my pant leg tucking days will be over.