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Most of us are inside right now, but come May there will be more things to inspect for than morels. I’m talking about the growing legion of tick borne diseases: Lyme, Bebiosis, Erlichiosis, Tularemia Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and STARI the disease carried by the lone star tick, and possibly the worst of all of them, that can make you allergic to red meat. Yes, allergic to red meat (most sources just say beef and pork, but It’s safe to assume more, too). If that wasn’t fun enough, there’s also tick paralysis, which can affect the heart and lungs, causing death. Then, if you’re doubly unlucky, like I was, your choice of blood-borne tick disease may interact and exacerbate pre-existing conditions permanently damaging your neurology, and, while it probably won’t kill you, it could definitely make your life miserable enough to make you think of killing yourself. These are some of the tick-borne illnesses and side effects people who venture outside for fun are at risk for contracting, and if you’re one of those people, you need to be aware. A tick check is standard, but dangerous tick nymphs are so small you can barely see them with the human eye (see above). For all the ticks and the fear they instill in us, Permethrin–a topical insecticide widely used and supported by the Department of Natural Resources, is the best prevention I’ve found. I use the Sawyer brand.

But, insecticides, pesticides? The words make my skin crawl, and make me think of things like Roundup and DDT, dead bald eagles, class action cancer lawsuits, and all the things we humans have really messed up with the goal of controlling nature. Generally speaking, I don’t like chemicals, I don’t even like standing next to people that use conventional detergent and softener sheets–the smell is nauseating to me.

Read the full article by the Forager Chef here.


May 6, 2022

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Forager Chef

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Hi, I’m Alan

I’m a chef from Minnesota, and all my life I’ve been in love with food. I like to tell people I’m a little Anthony Bourdain, and a little Indiana Jones, because I hunt wild plants and mushrooms for this website as my full time job. But, it wasn’t always like that.


Of all the creepy crawlers, ticks keep me on high alert. They can be very tiny in the nymph stage and difficult to see. They love to hang out in tall grasses along the trail and hitch a ride on hikers passing by. I plan on treating most of my clothes and gear with Sawyer Permethrin.

Joanne Gigliotti


Ultra-compact and lightweight

House Grail
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I would often just drink directly from the sawyer squeeze if I was feeling lazy- which by the way works wonderfully.

Rachel McVittie