It’s tick season!

a woodtick -Jackson Hole wildlife

It’s tick season!

This time of year, we welcome visitors from all around the country to beautiful Jackson Hole. And for those of you from the East Coast, the thought of “tick season” might be truly scary.

The good news: our Barker-Ewing scenic raft trips don’t travel through tick habitat, so we’re extremely unlikely to encounter them on the river. But many folks who float with us will also be hiking or biking in the woods around our valley, and should pay special attention to tick prevention.

In the United States, ticks are responsible for the greatest number of insect-related illnesses, and worldwide, the tick follows only behind the mosquito as a source of insect-borne disease. Here in Jackson and Grand Teton National Park, the most common ticks include the Rocky Mountain tick, the Deer tick, the Wood tick, and the Dog tick.

Ticks are found in woodlands, dense brush, and grasses. They also can be found in woodpiles, around stone fences, and along trails. So avoid areas known to be tick hotspots. Pull your socks over your pants to keep ticks out, and use DEET infused insect repellent. When returning indoors, hikers should check themselves and each other for ticks on their clothing and their skin. Be sure to check scalps and backs, and use a mirror for those hard-to-reach places.

Recent studies indicate that the best way to remove a tick is mechanical. Don’t use petroleum jelly, rubbing alcohol or any other toxic substances, and don’t burn the tick while it is attached to your skin. Simply use a pair of fine tweezers, and grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can. Gently pull straight out, without twisting or squeezing, and save the tick in a Ziplock bag in your freezer for later identification should symptoms arise.

Jackson Hole is a wild place, so check for ticks after you play in the woods, hang your food when backpacking through bear country, stay well back from Bison, and keep your daughters away from cowboys. And enjoy your Barker-Ewing scenic float trip: in 20 years on the river I have yet to find a tick on my boat.

Eric Barker

2 Comments

  1. Paul Drob on July 22, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    My wife, granddaughter, and I are scheduled for our Float Trip on Sunday, August 2nd at noon. I am assuming that we should be at the pick-up area no later than 11:30 AM. If you think that we should be earlier than that, please let me know.
    You also mention to pull our socks over our pant legs. Was this an advisory for those going hiking where there would be an opportunity to pick up a tick? We were planning on wearing shorts for the float trip. Please also let me know if this is okay as when I look at your site picture, all of the guests seem to be wearing jeans.

    • Barker-Ewing Float Trips on July 23, 2015 at 12:16 am

      Hi Mr. Drob,

      Thank you for commenting on our blog!

      You do not need to be at the meeting place as early as 11:30 AM. I would recommend that you plan to be at the Float Trip Meeting area in Moose by 11:45 AM. That should give you ample time to find a parking space and get your personal items organized and be ready to go. We will meet you promptly at 12:00 PM (Noon) on August 2nd. We drive dark green vans (pulling the raft trailers) with white lettering on the sides of the vans saying “Barker-Ewing Float Trips”.

      You most certainly can wear shorts on this trip. The pictures on the website were taken earlier in the season when it was cooler (and we’ve had some autumn photos taken for publishing before which, again, were in cooler temperatures). Even the guides often wear shorts during July and August. The basic “rule of thumb” is to wear whatever you find most comfortable. Most people do tend to wear shorts on the noon trip. I, myself, prefer long pants as I am exceedingly fair and I need the sun protection!

      The socks over your pants legs comment is not something that you will need to do for the raft trip. It is, however, advisable if you will be doing any hiking in the area, as it will help keep you from getting ticks on your bare skin.

      We hope you have a wonderful float on August 2nd!

      Cheers,

      Ms. Leith Barker
      Barker-Ewing Float Trips

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