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#2622670 - Tue Mar 20 2012 01:15 PM ticks
rflktrman Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: Sun Nov 26 2006
Posts: 4355
Loc: Robinson, Indiana county, Pa
I keep hearing ticks are going to be terrible this year. I am considering skipping spring turkey because of them. I am on Enbrel for my rheumatoid arthritis and can't afford to get any infections.
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#2622729 - Tue Mar 20 2012 02:01 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
Rabbit410 Offline

Registered: Thu Dec 04 2008
Posts: 5867
Loc: 5C
Not to keep you from spring gobbler, but to confirm about them being bad this year -
Three weeks ago, the boys and I were doing some hiking and 22 plinking. I leaned against a fallen tree and by the time I got to the car, my pantleg had half dozen or more of the little ones!
I was disposing of some old plants and such from the garden this weekend. I took one trip to the edge of the adjacent woods and emptied a barrel. Came back and cleaned up for dinner - a tick was crawling up my arm.
Good thing I stocked up on permethrin last fall!
Freedom isn't free

#2622773 - Tue Mar 20 2012 02:44 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
pumpgun Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: Sun Dec 25 2005
Posts: 3695
Loc: Under a Hemlock in the rain
i am 50 years old and have been tramping the woods since i could walk and i have never seen them as bad as now. it seems like it got real bad last fall in my areas (2B & 4A) and is even worse now. i got bit on the first day of deer season last fall and went on anti-bio's real quick. i'm thinking turkey season is going to be ridiculous. i have to get some spray soon.
My diploma is a DD Form 214

#2622787 - Tue Mar 20 2012 02:56 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
Goosehunter Offline

Registered: Mon Jul 29 2002
Posts: 5727
Loc: Schoeneck, Lancaster County
Why Ticks Are Gonna Be Bad This Year

Everywhere you turn, someone is saying this year's mild winter will unleash a ferocious tick season.

Richard S. Ostfeld says they are all wrong.

Ostfeld, a disease ecologist, should know. For more than two decades, he has studied the life cycle of ticks at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Dutchess County.

Ostfeld agrees that the 2012 tick season will be a bad one, but he said weather isn't the cause. Instead, he blames the white-footed mouse and the acorns they devour.

"There is simply no evidence of warm winter weather having any impact on tick populations at all," said Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Dutchess County.

A bumper crop of acorns in 2010 led to a surge in the population of white-footed mice in 2011, which in turn fed a thriving generation of young ticks, Ostfeld said. The mice are the favorite blood meal of baby ticks, and often they are infected with Lyme.

The mouse outbreak "was unprecedented, and we've been monitoring it for 20-plus years," Ostfeld said.

Black-legged ticks, better known as deer ticks, generally take three blood meals over their two-year lifespan. An adult female tick lays about 3,000 eggs in the spring. The baby ticks, called larvae, hatch in the summer and are disease-free until they feed on an infected animal. Often, their first blood meal is from a mouse. That first meal lasts them through winter, which they survive in pockets of the soil in a state of suspended animation.

They awaken the next spring as hungry teenage ticks called nymphs. Nymphs, which are about the size of a poppy seed, prefer to feed on deer, mice and small mammals, but a human will suffice. Nymphs are most active in May and June. By fall, they have reached adulthood and are looking for one more blood meal before they reproduce and die. Adult ticks that fail to find a meal may survive one more winter to continue their search for a host in the fall.

When the baby ticks hatched in 2011, Ostfeld said they had an abundance of mice to feed on. Each mouse can carry hundreds of larvae, which are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. But this spring, the massive legion of teenage ticks will awaken to a different world because the 2012 acorn crop failed and the mice population crashed.

"This will make matters worse," Ostfeld said. "Those infected nymphs are more likely to crawl on us because there won't be all those little mice vacuum cleaners sucking them up."

The mild winter doesn't change the number of ticks out there, but it does affect their behavior, he said. Ticks wake up when the temperature reaches the upper 30s, so the early warm-up means that adult ticks who failed to find their final blood meal last fall are already on the prowl for a host right now.

"It's the perfect storm," Ostfeld said.

The state Department of Health advises people use DEET, wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts, and check themselves for ticks when visiting wooded areas.

"One tick is just as dangerous as 30 ticks," said Peter M. Constantakes, a DOH spokesman. "We stress taking precautions."

Ostfeld has some good news. The dying mouse population means this year's batch of baby ticks will struggle to find their first meal.

"They may die off and 2013 may be a better year," he said.

Read more:
I've spent most of my money on Waterfowling, Women and Whiskey.
The rest of my money I just wasted.

#2622807 - Tue Mar 20 2012 03:12 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
InVenangoNow Offline
Where's Da Beef?
The man

Registered: Wed Nov 01 2006
Posts: 10197
Loc: Not Here
I have quite a few white oaks, and haven't seen this bumper crop in 4 years.

#2622814 - Tue Mar 20 2012 03:21 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
JetMaxx Offline

Registered: Sun Jan 27 2008
Posts: 1602
Loc: Chester County
I live in the woods and I can't walk on the edge of my yard with out getting them on me. Stacking wood yesterday I pulled a couple off. The buck I killed a few years ago out back had over 500 ticks on him. His fur was literally crawling, never seen anything like it.

#2622819 - Tue Mar 20 2012 03:23 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
Bodhi Offline

Registered: Tue Dec 18 2007
Posts: 641
Loc: Beaver County, PA
two of the coldest days of the year in feb I was walking the dog looking for sheds and he brought two home on him. THis is crazy. I cant stand them.

#2623038 - Tue Mar 20 2012 08:06 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
HomeintheWoods Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: Sat Apr 02 2005
Posts: 2514
Loc: Northern PA
Like many of us, I spend many hours every week in the woods. I live in the country and it's hard to walk out the back door and not be in the woods. Anyway, I just got back from walking a border where a neighbor is logging his land. I pulled 8 ticks off me during the walk. I have never experienced anything like it. I am convinced I need to start applying a spray before entering the woods, maybe even before going outside.
I miss my hunting partner

#2623094 - Tue Mar 20 2012 09:08 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
Jabshier1 Offline
On the board

Registered: Thu Mar 15 2012
Posts: 241
Loc: Allegheny, 2B
last year I had lyme disease.. went to doctors they said I caught it in time, Red bulls eye on my thigh.. leg gotten stiff, the numb felt like my leg fell off...they gave me meds look like Horse pills I took them for whole month! this year I went in woods looking for Shed, came out in evening stepped in shower with wife, what do you know! i had 3 ticks crawling on my back! all black tick (males), from what doctor told me the (female) ticks with Redish-brown on ticks back are carrier of Lyme disease.... but so far, I been seeing more and more ticks in last 5 years I been out archery hunting, than I ever saw in past....I used butcher deer for my dad every year when I was younger, we did around 40 to 50 deer during rifle season, and I've never seen to many deer covered in ticks, Like I do today!it's even more worse today then it was 10 years ago...
My "trigger finger" gets the best of me! I either miss or hit!

Take a kid hunting as much as you can!

#2623111 - Tue Mar 20 2012 09:28 PM Re: ticks [Re: rflktrman]
longfellow Offline

Registered: Mon Nov 19 2007
Posts: 410
Loc: blue mountain
Go to the Turkey hunting section on the PA hunting forum and you will find what turkey hunters use to kill the ticks that get on them in the spring.
God, Family, Country in that order.

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