This story starts in Maine. A woman goes out for a walk with her dog and comes back to find fifty ticks crawling up her legs.
This 74-year-old woman has over 40 years’ experience as a registered nurse with most of those years nursing very sick people back to health. She has witnessed firsthand the burdens that these terrible tick-borne diseases can put on patients and their families. This woman is also an experienced recreational Maine guide who loves the outdoors. She is an avid hiker.
This woman is Jane Gower. She lives in Dresden, Maine, a small town in Lincoln County. The area is known to have one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the nation. Her experience is the prime motivator for her research and development of a safe, affordable product that reduces the risk of acquiring tick-borne diseases, MaineJane’s Tacklers.
As a longtime crafter, Jane developed an easy-to-use product that works. The product was developed after many hours at her dining room table. The results are an environmentally- friendly way to protect yourself from ticks that crawl onto you as you walk through areas where they are found. The patented design is a system of Velcro and very sticky double-sided tape that fits around a person’s ankle. The sticky tape is not washable and can be removed easily. It only needs to be replaced when it has too much debris collected to prevent ticks from climbing on board. She does offer replacement tapes.
While doing her research, everything similar to her product wants you to put DEET or something else on it. (Do we really need to go into the health dangers from using DEET and many of the other chemical products available today for tick protection?) Gower’s tick protectors use nothing on them. She said, “It’s not about the repelling ticks but about stopping them dead in their tracks. So the goal is to really get a tick on us! This is because each tick we get means there’ll be that many less next year.” It has been said that one tick can lay from 1,000 to 5,000 eggs. This is a great way to stop them because they cannot crawl off the tick tackler and die on it before they can get to you and lay any eggs after they bite you. Jane goes on to say, “when the tick does begin crawling up one’s leg, it gets stuck there in plain sight. But the beauty of it is that they can’t crawl, once they’re on it they die on it. One less tick means maybe five thousand ticks less for next season.”
I asked Jane to send me some samples to try for myself since I am also an outdoor enthusiast, forager and walk my Newfoundland dog regularly. She sent them to me right away, and included some for my younger grandchildren and an older one who works for DEC to try. I have tried them. They are so easy to simply wrap on my ankles with different lengths in case you are wearing boots. Or small enough to fit on younger children. It is indeed comforting to not be spraying any unhealthy chemicals on my body or on my clothes. The only problem I encountered is that due to the super dry drought conditions all summer, it has meant that I have not seen any ticks — on me or my dog. I will continue to wear them now that they are back and am thankful to have something that is safer to use and works.
I also love that Mainejane’s TacklersTM is dedicated to “Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics.” They enclose a complimentary card in each order with the guidelines to leave no trace. They want to avoid a product that causes harm to any of our outdoor friends. Ticks are not our friends.
Mainejane’s Tacklers is produced in Maine with all materials made in America. Jane sells the Tick Tacklers in stores around Maine. They are also available online at mainejanestacklers.com, or call her at 207-653-7924. See her ad on page 39 of this edition of Green Energy Times.
N.R. Mallery is the editor and publisher and owner of Green Energy Times. She has been living sustainably off the grid in Vermont with 100% solar for 20 years. She grows nearly everything she eats and uses only 12 gallons of propane a year.