Just pulled out the first embedded deer tick that ever managed to latch onto me, which is amazing considering where I've hiked before in the NE. Was a large adult female, so pretty easy to spot, plus I could actually feel the bite, which felt like a scrape from a branch. There was actually a small red ring around the area where the tick was embedded. I'm 99.9% sure it wasn't on me for more than 1-19 hours (depending on whether it hitched a ride during yesterday evening's hike or this morning's).
Pulled it straight out alive and bagged it in a zip lock and will have it tested this week (many agencies do free testing). Strong little bugger - took an impressive amount of steady force to get it out.
No doc to ask until Monday, but According to the article and comments above, chance of infection is lower with an adult than with a nymph, and chance of infection in N California is low outside of Mendocino, Humbolt and Trinity (hope the study authors are correct).
Even with the excellent article here there is so much information out there that isn't well understood. Doing what you can for prevention seems best.
I will definitely pay more attention to prevention, first by spraying clothing, socks and hats with permethrin.
1) How long permethrin lasts on clothes?
2) Once it's dry is it set? Does it benefit from a roll in the dryer on low heat?
3) I'm pretty sure it wouldn't, but anyone know if it would survive a wash with DWR-safe vegetable-based washes? Likely need to retreat after every wash.
4) Are pre-treated permethrin clothes and hats worth it? Seems like an excuse to charge a lot of extra money. Would love to know how they embed permethrin in clothing so that it survives washes.
5) Do you spray your shoes, socks, inflatable mats, tents and sleeping bags?