Ticks

Hi Guys,
I am going to Botswana and SA in August, this is my first safari. Last summer I had a bad experience with Colorado spotted tick fever and was very sick and not back to normal for over a month. I am wondering if anyone would have any recommendations for effective tick repellent to be used in those areas.
Thanks guys.
I highly recommend spraying ALL of your clothing with Sawyer pemetherin spray. Follow the directions as it takes a lot. This and a good insect repellent with sunscreen and you will be set.
 
When I hunted in Limpopo back in 2010, I was unlucky to have one in my forearm. I could barely see the little bastard. The owner was worry sick that I had one, and they kept asking me every day if I was sick or not. Never got sick, and I joked around that I was a tick magnet. LOL. My wife slept on the ground in the blinds, and she never got one. It was cold, and I'm sure I got it from helping load one of the animals.
 
The pepper ticks I find on me from time to time while hunting there. They are usually all dead and never bother me. The Bont tick is the one I worry about. That's what I found attached to my calf in 2019 and got very sick from.
I know it’s hot in some places, but wearing lightweight tech pants has it’s advantages.
 

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I made up my own mix with this permethrin from tractor supply. Filled up a five gallon bucket with a water mix and soaked all of my clothing. Hung everything outside for a few days, it still smelled.

Soaking and drying is good, I’ve done it. The downside is that it seemed like I was wasting a lot of the concentrate with this method. It also took a very long time to dry the gear & clothes.

I shifted to using a half-gallon pump spray bottle with excellent results (no ticks), less waste and faster drying times.
 
I started a report about getting tick bite fever last September, I was prescribed Doxycycline for 10 days, found out later it should have been 20 days, because I then came down with Pneumonia for six weeks. My wife researched it out and found out tick bite fever can morph into pneumonia if not treated right to begin with, yea I know I was skeptical too about her findings.
 
There’s some good advice being offered here. Permethrin seems to work best. Just soak your clothes in it and hang them up to dry before you leave. Reapply after 2 or 3 washings (not after 6 as some instructions say.) You should be fine.
 
Soaking and drying is good, I’ve done it. The downside is that it seemed like I was wasting a lot of the concentrate with this method. It also took a very long time to dry the gear & clothes.

I shifted to using a half-gallon pump spray bottle with excellent results (no ticks), less waste and faster drying times.
I followed @beema mixture last year in Zim. worked perfectly…thanks my friend!!!
 
Permethrin (Sawyer) works best but you absolutely do not need to soak. The concentrate is nothing more than a cost saver. It's good to have because you'll likely never need to buy it ever again. A very little diluted in water, put into a spray bottle, goes an incredibly long way. Or you can just buy it already mixed in the version of "Sawyer" on Amazon.

There is definitely ticks in RSA/Limpopo. The kudu in my profile pic had about 10 or more crawling on it when I got up close.

I treated my clothes prior to leaving, let them dry and didn't have a single tick on me the entire trip.
 
We had pepper ticks on us at the end of each day in Limpopo last year, almost every day. At the PH's advice, we would take a damp washcloth and rub them out every evening. It worked, although I know that does not work with some other type ticks I have had such as the ones in S. Texas (much bigger). +1 on the Permethrin but also just check yourself at the end of each day, probably with a flashlight is best. I also wholeheartedly agree about not leaving any clothing on the ground, watch out wear your towels and bedding have been etc, and thank God for hot irons! Overall, dont stress about it imo. Cheers
 
Another vote for Permethrin on all clothing & hats. Picaridin sprayed on you daily.
 
Sorry if already addressed, but do you treat socks and underwear as well i.e. it’s safe for direct contact with skin?
 
Sorry if already addressed, but do you treat socks and underwear as well i.e. it’s safe for direct contact with skin?
Yes, it's safe for contact with skin. Truth be told, pretty much all of the Pyrethrin (it's a flower, used to be huge plantations of it in parts of Africa) analogs* are safe for human contact. Off the top of my head, I don't know the LD50 for any of them, but I'd guess in the 10s of thousands or higher.

*
  • permethrin
  • cypermethrin
  • lambda cyhalothrian
  • gamma cyhalothrin
  • tripermethrin
  • cyfluthrin
  • deltamethrin
  • bifenthrin
just to name a few
 
Sorry if already addressed, but do you treat socks and underwear as well i.e. it’s safe for direct contact with skin?
Have been using permethrin on ALL of my clothing since the mid-90's. As long as you have let it dry completely, you are fine.
 
Sorry if already addressed, but do you treat socks and underwear as well i.e. it’s safe for direct contact with skin?

Well I use it on my socks, but I really don’t want to expose the boys to it, so that gets skipped.
 
Ticks a nasty little buggers, bushbuck seem to be magnets for them, in Mozambique we feared the tick with a red spot on it, supposedly your going to get tick fever if one latches on to you. This picture is of a gaggle of ticks on a bull nyala.

A62FDE04-946D-462D-8EC1-64956BBA38B8.jpeg
BFA9C815-845C-4E90-AFFE-A5F04227B683.jpeg
 
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I know the permethrin spray stuff you can get online works well but it does not last through many washings. If you are getting things washed every day and have a decently longer trip, this could be an issue. I hate advertising for companies especially ones that I have dealt very little with but I have used a company called Insect Shield to send my pants, socks and shirts to. They treat the items with a different process that lasts much longer than several washes. It would be a similar process to any clothing item you buy in a store that has an insect repellant label. I have never had a problem sending my stuff to them before and I typically send my stuff every 2 years or so. Just depends on how much I wear the clothing. Take that for what it's worth as being another option than just using the spray stuff you can buy online. For me, the slight additional cost for the extra peace of mind that the commercially applied permethrin will last the entire hunt is enough justification for me.
 
Permethrin is unavailable in my area because of silly regulations. What would you guys recommend I do for my upcoming safari in Limpopo? Is there any store in Johannesburg that has some good tick repellant that you can recommend?
 

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