tick expectations?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by tap, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    I was just reading on another thread about tick problems in africa and thought I might start a new topic about it here as it affected my last trip in a major way. Let me start off by saying that in my other 4 trips to africa I never had a problem with ticks and hunted from late may to mid august. My last trip started out in zambia just outside of lusaka in late may. the areas of the ranch that were grazed by cattle only had pepper tick problems but the areas of the ranch the cattle weren't frequenting were plagued by all sorts of ticks and lots of them.

    Next I flew down to KZN and the animals had your usual number of ticks I suppose but the pepper ticks were every where. We had to dust them off our clothes frequently and tick check at night were a must. Luckily for me my wifes hot and having the excuse of needing a tick check is a welcome problem hahaha. anyways, it seems that the people in africa are accustomed to pepperticks and that they are the norm? is this correct? In addition I sprayed 100% deet all over my clothes and was still getting tick bites on the regular basis. Does anyone have any info that could help? best times of year for travel. repellents to use? areas to avoid in general etc? I am going to zimbabwe this year in june and july and am hoping I have no problems with ticks as I did last year. We will wait and see. If it helps there was a tropical storm that was plaguing the entire region of zambia to south africa while I was there last year. Lots of intermitent rain and mild temperatures. Would that have made a difference?
  2. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Deets isnt whats needed for ticks. One should spray all of their clothing (not you!) with permethrin before going into tick areas. That means before you leave the states. I did this for Zim last summer and had no issues with the local ticks and my PH said they were bothering him. I have had issues with skeeters but never ticks, at least so far.
  3. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Nothing are so bad, that somewhat good comes from it.....lol

    If I got it correct, its the pepper tick, that are the real problem, regarding tick fever. The big fuckers just irritate you...

    I use permetrine spray on my clothes, and high content DEET mosquito repellent on my skin. Works perfect!
  4. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Tony

    REI in Albuquerque has the spray for about $14,00 it will treat 2 sets of clothing.

    As i had bought the earlier supply and they restocked, I Just picked up the 3rd spray bottle last Wednesday. They had 6 more bottles when i left, and plenty of 100% deet repellant.

    If you need me to go get it let me know or just call them they will ship...
  5. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Sounds like a Brad Paisley song?..... Works every time! Hell we go to the movies and I am telling my wife I think she might have a tick on her!

    I used the double prevention method as well. One day we must have walked through a nest or something. My pants went from tan to black after the grass. I was covered in peper ticks. I got most of them off but did get a few bites. I would say it worked really good using both.
  6. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    tap it doesnt matter how hot your wife is, if you have the energy to check her out after a hard days hunting you arent putting enough effort and time into what you have paid a lot of money to go and do!!! you must think of yourself and stop being so self sacrificing !!:biggrin:
  7. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    :cool::p
  8. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    I posted this about a year ago. I've cut and pasted for your convenience. After another year of using the below system, I still believe in it fully. I teat my clothes once a year when the warm weather hits. It seems to last until tick season is over, so one treatment should last long enough for the most extended safari.

    You can buy permethrin clothing treatment at a sporting goods store. It is supposed to last several washings. What I do is buy 10 percent permethrin goat and sheep dip at the farm store, dilute it to 0.8 percent (about 12 to 1) and soak the clothes in that for several hours. It is a lot less expensive and stronger than the spray on stuff. The 0.8 percent is based on what the military uses. A soak in theory works better than a spray because it penetrates from both sides of the cloth. It is not approved for use on human clothing, so I'm not advocating it, insert legal disclaimer here. I am just telling you what I do and telling you it works very well. DO NOT FORGET to blouse your pants into your boots!!! If you don't, they might just manage to crawl up and in and bite before the permethrin gets them.

    My enjoyment of the great outdoors has gone up immeasurably since I started wearing my "tick-proofs".

    The military has been working on this a long time, with lots of money, and as far as I can tell, they really got it right. If you google up some of the tests they did, you'll see some impressive results. I would not want to be in the control group on any of those tests.

    Permethrin works fine by itself for ticks. If there are mosquitos plaguing you, you should add DEET. If you do the full monte permethrin treated clothes and time release DEET, you will be in good shape. I rarely use the DEET, because my biggest problem is ticks and chiggers, but it is part of the full package. Using the time release DEET (3M Ultrathon) is important unless you want to reapply the stuff every two hours.
  9. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    I have posted on this before. Ticks love my fat ass. I am still in the reserves and ordered up the Marine treated camo, the little bastards loved me to no end. I have not found any spray from the States that works. The best is OTC at a Chemist in Africa, Baydical. I don't get the fever any more but really hate all of the wounds on my legs. The ones that turn black are when you have the fever coming to you. I like to suggest a 10 day course of Tetracycline or a derivative, Doxycycline. We rotate them in our area every few years to avoid selective breeding. The fever has symptoms of a flu. It is not as bad as Lyme's but needs to be dealt with as it has the tendency to cause liver problems. Once to this stage you are looking at 6-8 weeks in the hospital with IV antibiotics.

    A side note if the wound ends up with a white head, itches like hell, and a clear discharge, it is sand fleas. No long term issues there but you will need to be a real man to keep from scratching them.
  10. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Gents, unfortunately you will
    never get away from ticks while hunting Africa. Luckily, the worst you will catch is a bit of tickbite fever, which feels like a bad flu. One injection will clear it all up. You will always find the odd tick during a trip. The pepperticks are only problematic because they are so small and on numbers.Finding them, you basically have to sit or crawl through a nest. Only if a specific individual tick that carries the disease bite, will you get the disease. The carrying ticks however I feel are in the vast minority.
    Either that or I have gotten immune.
    If this is something that worries you, ask you outfitter to organise you some tick spray, which are readily available here.
    The other simple but very effective method, is to bring some dog shampoo for ticks. Use this when you shower every night to get rid of all ticks.
    However, if you find yourself chasing cars, you're using too much.

    Best Regards
    Marius Goosen
  11. Baydog

    Baydog AH Veteran

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    So, once you get tick fever, can you get it again, or do you become immune? Both my hunting partner and I contracted it last year so I'm just wondering.
  12. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Yes , you can definately get it again. It almost seems that every time you get it, its less potent than the previous time. I'm not a medical expert, but I believe that you do build up some immunity to it.
    I obviously get bitten many times, and can't remember when last I had tick-bite fever. Maybe ticks don't like the blood/gunpowder mix.
  13. Baydog

    Baydog AH Veteran

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    Thanks Marius. It lasted quite a while last time, so it's good to hear it gets less and less. (hopefully).
  14. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    Yes, you can get it again. Each event is less severe than the first one if you get it in the same area. Normally it takes about 4-5 times before your immune system will totally take care of it. Don't count on being immune for a life time as the bacteria that causes this will mutate. Generally it is at such a slow pace that the best control is frequent safari activity.

  15. Baydog

    Baydog AH Veteran

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    I can live with that!
  16. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I am usually a tick magnet, so I guess I will quickly find out if there are many of them at the places I will hunt together with Marius this year:p
  17. fvh40

    fvh40 AH Veteran

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    It seems that I'm a magnet myself. Did some scouting for Blue Duiker early this week and sitting with a few bites on my anckles. My problem is that I can't stop to scratch.

    I've found that Allergex help to stop the itching.
  18. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    If they are itching a few days after contact it is probably sand fleas. If a white head on the bump it assures this. About the only good treatment is internal application of Klipdrift:) Seriously, most anithistamines help on these.
  19. Rohan

    Rohan

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    John,

    I have experienced a certain type of sand flea and the whiteheads on numerous occasions over the years in Mozambique while spearfishing and living in a very rustic 'sandy area' tented camp in the Mashongolo elephant nature reserve. The sand flea that lays the eggs and causes such a whitehead is called the Jigger flea. You can get bites that itch but only some that turn to a whitehead..this whitehead and the resulting itch can be remedied by carefully slicing the skin with a razor and removing the egg sac with a dry acacia thorn and being careful not to pop it in the wound, then throw Hydrogen Peroxide in the wound, then a dab of Mercurocrome, works every time. Only happens in summer months though. Always on the toes or between toes, on ankles and heels..terrible itchy feeling and once you find out that it is actually eggs you are ready to perform surgery! I'm sure you are aware of this flea I just meant to share my experience on this.
  20. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    good to hear.....:biggrin2:

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