Killing Ticks Working in the Woods

I went down to the farms yesterday and did some spraying, chopping and rock moving. Above is the baldcypress in our wet area.

On the plus side, the road that the utility company repaired along their right-of-way has settled nicely and their plantings are growing vigorously. I also saw a lot of quail and almost a dozen wild turkeys.  I tried to sneak up on them, but they flew off. I think they have good eyesight.

I sprayed down some resurgent tree-of-heaven, many of the vines and some of the hardwoods mixing in with my pines. It was really hot and not very pleasant work. I got a four gallon backpack sprayer, which makes it easier to do the work, but it is heavy. Today I have a stiff neck from reaching and spraying while carrying that thing on my back. The good news is that I found a product that keeps off and actually kills ticks.  It is called “Repel.” You can apply it to your boots and clothes. It irritates the skin, so it is good only for heavy duty tick killing, not casual mosquito avoidance. I pushed brush all day and picked up no ticks or chiggers, so the stuff works.

One interesting thing I heard at the local gas station in Freeman is that there may be plans to open a wood pellet (the kind they use for heating) plant near Jarratt, VA. This would be a good development, since it is near my forests and would provide a market for thinned trees and pulpwood. Maybe the prices will go up a little. They are abysmal now, so it cannot hurt.

Making small wood into pellets for home heating is a better idea than trying to turn it into liquid fuel like ethanol, which takes as much energy as it produces. You are usually better off being as simple as possible.