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Re: Lyme disease
>John Elyard of Kuwait said he and his brother want to hike an AT segment
>and that his brother is concerned about Lyme disease.
>Walt Daniels is correct that there is no vaccine for Lyme disease
>currently available. I'm sure Walt will let us know how his
>guinea-pigging turns out.
>I did a survey for the deer tick (Lyme disease tick) on the AT in 1991
>for my M.S. thesis research. My study area was the AT from the WV/MD
>border to the MA/VT border. The survey included repeated sampling of the
>AT in certain states, such as 5 walks through NY, 3 walks through CT
>and NJ, twice through MA, once each through PA and MD. Sampling for ticks
>was conducted at least every 3 miles on 100-200 foot sections of trail
>and trail edges. I wrote an article about the ecology of the deer tick
>and personal precautions for AT users/maintainers in the April, 1993
>issue of _The Registrar_, an ATC publication. A more in-depth
>synopsis of my research was published in the Proceedings of the 1993
>Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. If any one would like a
>copy of either of these articles, I'd be happy to snail-mail it to you.
>Also, I work for the New York State Dept. of Health, Arthropod-borne
>Disease Program and stay current with information pertaining to the
>Linda Wacker mentioned wearing a hat...probably regarding deer flies and
>black flies. This is good advice. A recent report suggests that
>affixing a fly strip to the hat will help capture the offending insects.
>Folks who have tested this say it works. It would probably be better if
>hikers without trail names avoid this method for fear of being labeled
>with embarrassing trail names (such as "Carrier of Fly Carcasses").
A Tick trick that has proven workable in the chaparral areas of California
where I do most of my hiking is to soak gaiters, lower pants/shorts legs
and hat in a solution of cat (NOT DOG) flea dip containing the ingredient
pyrethrin. The brand I use is liquid Zodiac, but I imagine any will work.
After washing the clothes, I mix up a gallon of the stuff, following the
directions on the bottle. After soaking the clothes I let them drip dry.
The solution remains effective for days, even with normal sweat. It will
wash out in a heavy rain or washing machine though, so re-applications need
to be done while thru-hiking. The advantages are that cat pyrethrin is
safe for most humans (I've never had a rash),won't dissolve plastics like
DEET, and doesn't smell, but any bugs that land on the clothing pretty much
die on contact. The only time I haven't seen this stuff be effective is
when wearing 100% nylon clothing, which doesn't absorb the solution as well
as more hydrophilic fabrics. On my aborted PCT trip a few years ago, I put
a small bottle in every supply box. You could wipe down your skin with it
as well, but it doesn't seem to be as effective as letting soak into the
As to the fly problem, I imagine pyrethrin would work as well, since it
does kill bees, but since we don't have much in the way of flying bugs I
have no direct experience.
Hope this information is helpful,
Lew and Catherine Middaugh