[Tweeters] Off topic: Malheur

Steve Loitz steveloitz at gmail.com
Thu May 19 13:17:10 PDT 2022

In my opinion, Sawyer permethrin treatment is unduly expensive. In less
diplomatic terms: It's a ripoff. I have DIY treated
hiking/backpacking/mountaineering clothing with permethrin for years using
agricultural permethrin cut with water to c. 1-1/2% dilution. (Sawyer spray
treatment is 0.5%; U.S. military treats with 2%.) Permethrin is widely used
in agriculture, e.g., as a stock dip, and is relatively inexpensive. DIY
treating with diluted agricultural mixture is a small fraction of the cost
of the Sawyer product. Also, IME, Sawyer's 0.5% mixture is not as effective
against ticks or black flies as a 1-1/2% or 2% dilution.

Here is a link to a NWHikers forum thread re DIY treating with diluted
agricultural permethrin products:
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1013428 When I first
contributed that that thread, I sprayed a 1-1/2% diluted mixture on the
garments. Now I typically soak the garments in the mixture for a few hours,
then wring out, then hang dry the garments (away from cats), then finish
them off in the dryer at low heat. Before first use, I keep the treated
garments in a plastic bag.

Take all precautions to use permethrin and to keep liquid permethrin
mixtures and freshly treated garments away from cats. Cats cannot
metabolize permethrin, thus it can build up in their bodies and cause
neurological damage and painful death. After a few uses, the excess
permethrin off-gases and is reputed to be safe for cats, although we store
our treated garments in a drawer dedicated solely to permethrin-treated
clothing, where our cats have no access.

If anyone has questions re DIY permethrin treatment, do not hesitate to
email me.

Steve Loitz
Ellensburg, WA
steveloitz at gmail.com

On Thu, May 19, 2022 at 9:20 AM Nagi Aboulenein <nagi.aboulenein at gmail.com>

> Hello All,


> I just wanted to add another option for treating clothing with Permethrin,

> and that would be the DIY option.


> Permethrin clothing insect repellent spray bottles can be purchased online

> (and possibly at stores like REI and Capella’s), and you can spray your

> clothes with it, then just leave them to hang overnight to dry. Treatment

> is supposed to be good for 6 weeks/6 washes. We did that successfully on

> recent trips to Mexico and Panama and it seemed to work quite well for us.


> We used “Sawyer Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent” spray.


> Good birding!


> --

> Nagi Aboulenein


> On May 16, 2022, 20:00 -0700, Zora Monster <zoramon at mac.com>, wrote:


> I just returned from Malheur NWR. We (my husband, my dog and I) spent the

> entirety of the day (Friday the 13th) driving the Blitzen Valley and

> walking the trails. Water at the refuge headquarters is almost gone; we saw

> two American avocets, a willet, and a gadwall pair (chased away by the

> avocets). The northern section of the drive was dry until we got near the

> Buena Vista ponds. In spite of the lack of water, there were many

> red-winged blackbirds to be found in the dried up (last year’s) bulrushes.

> Once we hit water, however, things got interesting. Between Buena Vista

> ponds and French Glen we saw at least 150 white-faced ibises, plenty of

> ruddy ducks, redheads, cinnamon teals, more willets, large flocks of a

> largish shorebirds that we could not identify (too far away for even my

> 200-600mm camera to capture with any detail), gadwalls and the ever present

> mallards. The willow stands were full of warblers, with yellow warblers the

> dominate species. I picked up some lifers (Forster’s tern, Brewer’s

> sparrow, Lewis’s woodpecker, gray flycatcher, vesper sparrow) and got some

> fabulous pics of a western grebe and those ibises. We also saw about a half

> dozen sandhill cranes. Absent in all of this were the white pelicans - not

> one was seen. All in all, we really enjoyed the day.


> Here is a link to a photo of white-faced ibises:

> https://www.dropbox.com/s/s3l9xv5i5bpjrg4/_DSC1912.jpg?dl=0


> Note about the trails - There were lots of ticks. My husband and I have

> picardin treated clothing, so we did not pick up any. My dog, OTOH, had 7

> when we did our evening tick check. I would not recommend going out on to

> the trails without taking appropriate tick avoidance measures. For anyone

> who has clothing for hiking and would like to have it treated, I highly

> recommend using Insect Shield’s Treat Your Clothes service. This is the

> same treatment you find in Exofficio, LL Bean and other treated clothing.

> The Easy Packs are economical (we had 22 articles of clothing consisting of

> pants, shorts and capris treated using 2 bags) and if you are a first time

> customer you can get 15% off on your order.


> Happy birding!

> Zora Dermer

> Seattle, WA


> On Apr 25, 2022, at 11:04 AM, Constance Sidles <constancesidles at gmail.com>

> wrote:


> Hey tweets, many, many thanks to all of you who replied to my question

> about drought conditions at Malheur. You are such a great community! In

> particular I was interested in the drought conditions that forced American

> White Pelicans to leave several years ago, resulting in a new population of

> these birds in our part of the world, namely, at Deer Lagoon and Crockett

> Lake. I wanted to predict (at least insofar as any human can predict bird

> decisions!) whether we are likely to retain our migratory population of

> American White Pelicans, even if conditions improve at Malheur well enough

> to support the bird flocks that fled.


> On the suggestion of one tweeter, I called the refuge's gift shop, which

> is staffed by local volunteers, to ask about conditions there.


> According to what she said, and also in accord with the answers that many

> of you sent, the picture is mixed:


> Drought conditions continue to be severe. Malheur Lake is very low, and

> the natural spring near the refuge visitor center is just a fraction of

> itself. There is water in the reservoirs but at low levels. Similar drought

> conditions existed last year as well.


> This seems to have affected the populations of both American White

> Pelicans and White-faced Ibises, another species I was interested in. I did

> not ask about other species that might have been affected by the drought.

> According to nearly everyone who responded to my request, both ibises and

> pelicans have experienced a drop in population. However, depending on where

> you go on the refuge, you can still see these birds. In fact, eBird reports

> that this past week, there were 8 American White Pelicans sighted on one

> day, and 35 White-faced Ibises on another day.


> So some birds are still present and seem to be managing with the water

> that remains. I would predict, then, that we will continue to see American

> White Pelicans at Deer Lagoon, at least in the near future, and (I hope)

> permanently.


> The volunteer at Malheur pointed out that fluctuations in water conditions

> (drought vs. flooding) swing wildly in a place like Malheur. She told me

> that in the 1980s, flooding was severe, so much so that the roads had to be

> raised up on dikes. The flooding resulted in a big increase in carp, an

> invasive fish. It also encouraged plant growth which, along with all the

> water, ended up displacing several species of birds. Now we have the

> opposite condition. Perhaps the birds in such a place are adapted to these

> swings, as sporadic as they are, much the way species are adapted to

> hurricanes in other parts of the country, which are also quite sporadic but

> present over the long term. - Connie, Seattle







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Steve Loitz
Ellensburg, WA
steveloitz at gmail.com
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