It seems like most everywhere you put your boots to the ground, there is something out there that’ll bite, stick, or prick you. There are all kinds of critters, pests, and plants that can leave their mark on your body if you get too close.
And while some might live in fear of bears and the boogieman, ticks seem to be a much more common threat to hunters and outdoorsmen when they step into the woods in the warm weather months.
So how you do you go about repelling these tiny blood suckers? What can you do to prevent them from making the journey to your skin?
Below you’ll find some of the best products to keep ticks off your body as you spend time hunting, working, and hanging out in the outdoors throughout the spring, summer, and early fall months. Thankfully, there are more tick preventative products available today than ever before.
Here’s a look at some of the best products to help you keep ticks off your body this year.
Sawyer Permethrin Fabric Treatment
One of the most popular, and readily available, means of tick prevention these days is the use of permethrin. Sawyer Permethrin Fabric Treatment is easy to find at most any sporting goods store and applies quick and easy to your clothing, boots, gear, etc.
Just keep in mind, this product is designed to spray on your garments as a treatment of your gear prior to your trip to the woods. DO NOT apply it directly to your skin like you would some of that old school bug spray back in the day. Properly treated garments will continue to repel ticks and mosquitoes for 6 weeks, or 6 washes.
Keeping your pant leg cuffed can go a long way in keeping ticks from making their way up your body. That’s why the Lymeez product works well at slowing down the process for ticks. This unique cuff gaiter is built to help keep ticks from crawling up your pant leg.
These cuffs are designed to slow a tick’s climb resulting in longer exposure to applied microencapsulated permethrin tick repellent. Lymeez is also effective on chiggers and mosquitoes. The product’s repellency effectively lasts for 50 washings.
Ben's Tick Repellant
Another easy option for quickly applying tick repellant to your clothes is Ben’s Tick Repellent. The product provides maximum strength tick protection in a 20% picardian formula that’s safe for the whole family. It lasts up to 12 hours, so you can enjoy the day hunting, hiking, or hanging out. It comes in a user-friendly Eco-Spray delivery system to release a fine mist at any angle.
SITKA Equinox Guard Pant & Hoody
Moving beyond tick sprays and treatments, leading apparel brands are now offering garments designed specifically for the protection against insects. SITKA has recently launched their Equinox Guard Pant and Hoody system built to prevent contact with insects in 3 unique ways – limited skin exposure, bite-reduction fabric, and built-in Insect Shield protection. Like all the garments in the SITKA lineup, the Equinox Hoody and Pant are super comfortable, allowing maximum mobility. Taking things a step further, you’ll also find added protection in the pants with an internal leg gaiter system built in to prevent ticks and chiggers from crawling up your legs when worn under socks.
Gamehide ElimiTick Pant
Gamehide has been in the tick prevention game for a long time with their ElimiTick products designed specifically to keep ticks off your body. Their ElimiTick Insect Repellent five pocket pant is built with a comfortable feel and function to keep you in the game for all-day hunts, all while delivering peace of mind that you’re preventing contact with ticks. The pants are made of cotton-free Clever Cloth that’s designed to be durable and free from fading and shrinking.
Leg gaiters aren’t necessarily designed for tick prevention, but they do a pretty dang good job of doing just that. Eliminating access for ticks up your pant leg is the key here. It’s the same reason we tuck our hunting pants into a rubber knee boot. It helps keep your pants dry, but more importantly, it keeps ticks from marching up your legs.
Gaiters on your legs, paired with a quality tick repellent spray, is an incredibly effective system for keeping ticks off your body. The First Lite Traverse 2.0 Gaiter is a great option, built for low and mid-height footwear. It’s built with DWR stretch nylon construction and a reinforced arch strap to increase its lifespan while taking a beating on your backcountry hunts.
If you find yourself unprepared with tick prevention gear, a roll of duct tape or electrical tape can go a long way in the effort to keep the ticks off. It serves much the same purpose as the gaiters, keeping your pant leg tapered and eliminating access for ticks.
Keep a roll of tape in your truck at all times for when you find yourself without your tick prevention goods and gear. You simply wrap the tape around your pant leg and boots to keep ticks from crawling up your legs. It’s not the best means of prevention, but it works in a pinch.
The Ingredients that Repel Ticks
According to the CDC, there are six active ingredients recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency that work well when it comes to tick repellent.
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
“Tick repellent chemicals are not well understood, but they are thought to disrupt tick host-seeking behavior,” explains Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, an entomologist at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Ticks have a sensory organ on their forelegs that detects odors, CO2, and heat. Repellents are thought to interfere with that sensory organ.”
What about you? What do you use, wear, or recommend for preventing contact with ticks? Comment below, and let us know.
For more on the dangers of tick-borne diseases, read our recent article on Alpha Gal HERE