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Re: Lyme disease

On Thu, 1 Feb 1996, Catherine Middaugh wrote:
> 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.....
> 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.

Although this is probably a workable solution for shorter hikes, I'd 
hesitate to have any pesticide next to my skin for 6 months...Although 
pyrethrins are considered one of the safer insecticides (they're 
derivatives of the marigold plant, I believe), many insecticides are 
absorbed thru the skin...I wonder how long term exposure would affect the 
body......specifically, would these affect internal organs such as the 
liver, etc. It's sort of a toss-up of what to use vs what the critters
can do to you...Any biomeds out there with data on this subject?

I've usually used Avon's Skin-so-soft bath-oil as an anti-bug juice. It 
smells reasonable & leaves your skin very supple! Plus, it works as well 
as any insecticide I'm used...OTOH, it may not be as effective against 
ticks as it's possible I had some problems with Lyme disease following my 
1981 hike, arthritis post-hike and cardiac problems for which we couldn't 
find a cause within the following year..Back then, not so much was known 
of Lyme....I'm much more aware of checking & removing ticks promply. My 
dog now wears a tick collar as we live in a wooded community.

Just some thoughts.

PS. I'm also an older woman (past your years!), who does a lot of solo 
hikes for the same reasons you stated (finding someone with the same time 
& inclination). My husband is just starting into backpacking & so far 
views it as a positive experience. As much as I enjoy going solo, I 
always enjoy having a companion to share the experience with. Sort of 
doubles the memories...