Ask The Biologist

Ticked Off

Ticked Off

By Bob Humphrey

Take steps to repel ticks in the spring and the fall.

QUESTION: I like to bowhunt early in the season, but the ticks have gotten really bad where I live. Someone told me regular insect repellent will work, but I’m afraid the smell will scare away deer. Is there something else I can use? –Kyle G.

ANSWER: I, too, have heard that conventional insect repellents (containing DEET) work for ticks, although I have not used them mostly for the reason you mentioned. Spray-on repellents lose effectiveness over time, and most have a distinct odor that would likely be recognized as foreign by deer.

For tick repellent, I use the same thing in the spring for turkey hunting, and in fall for deer hunting. Rather than solutions that are applied directly to the skin, I use a permethrin-based solution that you apply to your clothing, then let it dry. One application should last a season, depending on how often you wash your hunting clothes. Once dry, it has no odor, and it is very effective at repelling ticks.

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Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

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