ARGUABLY THE MOST DANGEROUS
THING IN THE PARK
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK TICKS CAN POTENTIALLY TRANSMIT
- LYME DISEASE
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER
- OTHER DISEASES SOME THAT MAY NOT BE SCIENTIFICALLY RECOGNIZED YET
I recommend that you use both Deet based insect repellent on your skin and permethrin treatments on your cloths and footware.
With the beginning of the spring season you need to start being extra cautious about ticks. If you have not gotten up to speed on ticks you should. There is lots of good information online including these sites:
Adult ticks which can carry disease are active during all months of the year. Of course it would be very rare to see one during winter but they can still be active.
It is the nymphs which will be emerging soon that are the most dangerous. They can be infectious and they are tiny and you may miss seeing one on your body during your tick check.
The larva are non-infectious because they have not had a chance to have a blood meal from an animal that is a carrier of the disease.
For obvious reasons the more blood meals a tick has had the higher the chance that it fed on an animal disease carrier. While the adults are more likely to be infectious than the nymphs because they had to have at least two blood meals on their way to becoming adults. The good news is that being much bigger than nymphs they are much easier to find during a tick check and if removed within 24 hours after attachment will not have transmitted any disease.
Infected persons will not always develop the classic bulls eye rash. Sometimes it will be a more non-descript rash or no rash at all. Be alert to the possibility that you contracted a tick borne illness anytime you become sick a few days after being out in the woods.
I repeat that I recommend that you use both Deet based insect repellent on your skin and permethrin treatments on your cloths and footware.