WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Can’t scratch this itch

Babbs in the Woods: Getting Ready for the Battle of the Bugs

I itch.



And I haven’t even been out in the woods for hours upon hours turkey hunting yet. I’ve just been out in the woods, walking trails, looking for turkey signs, busting flocks of them and setting blinds. And already I’m as itchy as all get out, with chigger bites and briar scratches and a touch of poison ivy. Even though I wear long sleeves and long pants, I am starting to look like a scabbed-over junkie.

I always spray my clothes and boots with Permethrin, and I’m really thinking of wearing pantyhose in the woods this spring – courtesy of a tip from Brenda Valentine at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s last convention. I thought I’d given up the pantyhose regimen, but thankfully, I hadn’t thrown them all out.


We don't think they're jumping into the water because they itch. Photo courtesy of ExOfficio

I’m taking an antihistamine to help control the outbreak and of course, hayfever, since Mother Nature decided to “spring” spring upon us early this year. My doc told me to look for Permethrin-based laundry detergent, but I can’t find it anywhere online. I guess I’ll just douse my hunting clothes, pack, boots and vest liberally with Permethrin outside, the day before I set out, and let it dry. Then, I’ll wash those clothes gently and separately and ….

Anything else?

What do you do to keep the lil’ critters off your body in the woods?


This bandana from Insect Shield will last through 70 washings and retails for $9,95.

Just tell me what you do that works for you afield and you might win a very handy hanky – specifically, an Insect Shield bandana – made with repellent technology that provides invisible and odorless protection against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums) through 70 launderings. According to the company, “Insect Shield® Repellent Gear technology is proven to repel mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and fleas through six months of constant exposure to weathering (sun/rain). In partnership with a number of agencies and international relief organizations, Insect Shield technology is being used for apparel and other items that people use daily to aid in protection against insects.”

Winners will be chosen randomly. By the end of this week, Friday, April 6. Leave your comment here, or hey, do us a huge favor please (if you haven’t already) and pop over to our Facebook page and comment there! Thanks!

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

  • Traci says: April 10, 2012 at 9:54 am

    IVarrest for the poison ivy, dog flea and tick collars woven through my shoe laces, rub down with lemon balm leaves, Craghopper’s Nosilife and Exofficion insect repellent clothing. Eek!

  • Lisa Walters says: April 6, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I use a combination of coco lotion, aloe, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil and penny royal oil; this seems to work for mosquitoes, tick and chiggers. But is fragrant so can’t use while deer hunting.

  • Stephanie Wottrich says: April 6, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I am very fortunate in that I can roll around in poison ivy and poison oak and have zero reaction :)… however, I am a tick magnet… and that stinks… I do all the tips, except never tried the pantyhose… will have to try that one this week… although, and this might be weird, but when I do get ticks off, to make sure they are dead, and make my daughter laugh as a child, I would put it on a glass plate and then use a bbq lighter to heat it til it “popped” like popcorn… (we might be rednecks, but we don’t eat em… we’re not THAT crazy)… our biggest issues here (central texas) are ticks and chiggers, and in the evening, mosquitos… the Avon Skin So Soft bug spray really works well, and is a lot less toxic than most bug repel sprays, and I used a Thermacell for the first time last year on a black bear hunt in Manitoba… that thing was quite incredible!

  • Ellen Benitz says: April 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    To help avoid poison ivy: I’ve learned NOT to wear my light weight camo. I have some for late KS season when it’s getting really hot, that is a light nylon blend, but what I’ve learned is it is too thin to keep me from getting poison ivy! I also read that chiggers have to have something to push against to burrow into your skin, so nothing tight! That is why they always get around your waist band or panty legs. So no undergarments? Hey if it keeps me from getting chiggers I’ll go comando! Thermacell works good against mosquitos. I hate putting stuff on my skin so I go for the treatments I can use on my clothes and permethrin is my go to for ALL my clothes I plan to wear anyplace outside my yard this spring/summer. Soak everything well and let dry! A good home made soap like the kind you buy at festivals or in Branson will help dry the itch up.

  • Shirley Graves says: April 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Pine tar soap seems to help me when I am in the woods this time of year. Along
    with Duranon(permethrin) and if you happen to get in a batch of turkey mites use lice shampoo to wash with and use Apple cider vinegar in your bath water.

  • Bucky D'Agostino says: April 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Southern NJ’s pineland region pulsates with chiggers. Nite-Lite tick and chigger gaiters plus a thorough dousing of permethrin has been the ticket here. I mean thorough dousing!

  • Britney Starr says: April 3, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I use a Thermacell for mosquitos and other buggies. That helps a lot. But it doesn’t do anything for ticks. 🙁
    All I have to do is think about ticks and I start to itch. I feel your pain.

  • Katherine says: April 3, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I must be the sweetest thing out there, because nothing I’ve tried keeps me from coming home looking like I’ve been the insects’ buffet table. Long sleeves and long pants help. That magic little hanky would certainly be worth trying!