Interview with Dedicated Hiker and Lyme Prevention Advocate Logan McCulloch
Logan McCulloch is a longtime friend of Insect Shield. He’s an avid outdoorsman and cyclist who got Lyme disease on a backpacking trip in 2011, suffering from a number of debilitating symptoms and several misdiagnoses. Even after an intensive treatment protocol, he has never fully recovered. But rather than take Lyme disease lying down, he decided to walk the Appalachian Trail to promote awareness by reaching out to hikers and others at risk of contracting it.
Other Videos Recommended by Logan in the Interview:
Tick-Borne Disease Awareness & Protection Tactics
Tick Prevention | Experts, Lyme Survivors, Families
How to Protect Yourself from Ticks while Enjoying the Outdoors
Here are Logan McCulloch’s tips for preventing tick bites:
- Many people never know they are bitten by ticks. Prevention is key.
- Wear clothing treated with permethrin. Here are some options:
- Spray permethrin on your clothing, boots and any gear that touches the ground.
- Purchase clothing pre-treated with permethrin from sites such as InsectShield.com or your local outfitter.
- Send your clothes to Insect Shield and they can treat them for you.
- For maximum protection wear, long pants treated with permethrin, or bug pants in hot weather.
- Tuck in your shirt, and tuck your pants into your socks.
- Use 20% to 30% DEET on exposed skin.
- Conduct frequent tick checks, paying special attention to underarms, behind the knees, scalp, ears, pelvic area, between the legs, and belly button.
- A backpacker should carry a mirror to examine hard to see areas.
- When possible, shower as soon as you can after coming indoors and put your clothes in the dryer on high heat for sixty minutes to kill any remaining ticks.
- Avoid tick habitats
- Walk in the center of the trail
- Stay away from brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Avoid sitting on the ground or logs.
- Take rest breaks at shelters or on a ground cloth that has been treated with permethrin.
Taking preventive measures can greatly reduce the chance of a tick biting you, but if you do find a tick, remove it immediately. Remember that young ticks may look like a speck of dirt or a pepper flake, so it's important to conduct frequent tick checks to catch a tick as soon as possible.
Logan McCulloch on How to Remove a Tick
When I talk to people about proper tick removal, I usually start off by telling them what not to do.
Never use any kind of chemical or things like a burnt match to try to remove a tick. Anything you do that shocks the tick that might prompt it to regurgitate the contents of its stomach into your bloodstream. The bacteria that produce Lyme disease are in the tick’s gut.
Remove a tick using fine point tweezers, or a specialized tick removal tool you can find online, for you and your pets.
If I had a deer tick nymph (the tick species that transmits Lyme disease) embedded in my leg, you would see that it's about the size of a pepper flake. I need really fine-point tweezers to be able to get down to the base of that tick’s head where it has bitten me, and pull back with steady, even pressure until the tick releases, making sure that I get the entire tick out. You may be a little panicky when you see a tick on you, but you need to stay calm and get that tick down at the base of your skin. Maybe even pull a little piece of your skin out. Better to do that and know that you got the entire tick than to leave any of the mouth parts embedded.
Transcript of the Interview
Mark at Insect Shield
We're here with Logan McCulloch, who is a longtime friend of Insect Shield, and has had his own challenges with Lyme disease. We want to talk to him today and find out how he got where he is today and his experience with Lyme because I think a lot of people share that experience. And then kind of go from there, see what you're up to today. So Logan, welcome to our blog and video interviews.
Thank you, Mark. It's great to spend some time with you. As you know, I know your predecessor very well, Janine Robertson. I found my way to Insect Shield back in the fall of 2012. And I was connected by a Lyme disease friend by the name of Dorothy Leland, from a not for profit called lymedisease.org. And at that time, I was recovering after more than a year-long battle with what I learned at the time was what sometimes called disseminated Lyme disease or chronic Lyme disease. I gotten bitten by a bunch of ticks on a backpacking trip with my son in May of 2011. About 15 months before I found Janine and Dorothy through Insect Shield.
And, classic story: I actually found the ticks on me when I woke up in camp that morning. They had gotten on me obviously during the hike with my son and my dog. I gone to bed that night woke up the next morning with that itchy feeling like chiggers, found about 20 deer tick nymphs attached anywhere from between my toes up to my waist. Through that morning with fine needle-nose tweezers, I was an experienced backpacker. And I at least knew how to remove them properly, and did. I sat there for about an hour pulling these off.
Didn't know enough at the time to save samples of them because you could have the ticks tested. I learned later. I’d seen ticks all my life I'd grown up in Kentucky spent my summers on my grandmother's farm. This was nothing new. And I thought well, I'm just getting all these off. No, no big deal. And within about six weeks, I started to develop some odd symptoms. I was an athlete, I was a competitive cyclist. And in hindsight, I realized that I missed at least one tick in my groin area, which is a very common place for ticks to attach. Right?
No, they love skin where blood vessels are close to the surface. And they also find places where they can stay hidden for at least two days, which is you know what they take for their feeding cycle to finish their meal. Well, they had stayed attached. So I started getting sick and that summer I went to my doctor. He had the notion that I found out later so common that unless you're a resident of one of what they consider 13 endemic states for Lyme disease, mostly through New England, Mid Atlantic and some Midwestern and California. He thought there's no Lyme disease in Kentucky, and looked at every other thing but Lyme disease and it was all the way until that fall, Mark, about six months later that I had developed cognitive problems, memory issues, aphasia, where I would lose words.
I was having a hard time driving back and forth to work in my own town. In a route that I'd driven for eight and a half years, I would literally have to pull over to the side of the road from time to time, I couldn't figure out where I was on the map. Really disturbing stuff. And I finally found my way to a Lyme specialist up in the Cincinnati Ohio area. There were no Lyme specialists in Kentucky and got diagnosed with a clinical diagnosis, which is what the CDC recommends because the blood tests are so poor, so inaccurate for Lyme disease.
And over the course of the next year I did an intense treatment protocol. And long story short about a year later, I finally started seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. And by the end of the following summer 2012. I had recovered enough physically that I was cycling again, and hiking and backpacking again. I had learned a tremendous amount about Lyme disease. In the interim I'd found a Lyme support group in Louisville that had just started a month before I was diagnosed. Since then we've had 400 or 500 people come through that support group over the last 10 years.
I had this crazy notion, Mark, after all that I've learned - and I was a nonprofit executive. My job was to be an advocate, public speaker, I was a media relations specialist. Communication was a big part of my job. And I thought, all right I’m getting some of my health back, I feel physically pretty good again, mentally, I've still got problems. I was working at the American Red Cross at the time.
And I got this notion that I was going to leave my job because I was still having a very hard time mentally with what they call executive functioning, I couldn't I couldn't hold things in mind. Sure. I'm going to I'm going to do a bucket list item. I'm going to quit my job. I'm going to sell my house and most of my possessions. And I'm going to try and hike the Appalachian Trail, which is something I've always wanted to do for 20 years that had been on my mind. But I’d do it is an advocacy effort to try and draw awareness to Lyme disease.
As a part of that effort, I wrote a business plan, if you will. I recruited one of my best friends who was a Chief Operating Officer at a local bank. I said would you be my Chief Operating Officer. We wanted to try and do a project that could bring grassroots awareness to the fact that Lyme exists in many places that aren't commonly understood, and to teach some of the things that I've learned over the years that year, Mark, about the life cycle of ticks, where you're at most risk, where you're not, and I started working with lymedisease.org, a not for profit based in California, and Dorothy Leland, who knew your predecessor, Janine Robertson, and she said Logan, you ought to get in touch with Insect Shield. We think world of their products and the science behind the use of permethrin [for clothing and outdoor gear] has improved.
And so I did, and Janine was so gracious. And I sent her my business plan and my media plan and how I was going to try and draw attention. And she was kind enough to send me an outfit, Mark. I'd actually already bought some Insect Shield products from a friend of mine that managed a local outdoor store, wound up sponsoring me too for shoes and some other equipment. And I wound up hiking the Appalachian Trail from Maine down to Georgia. I started in mid-summer. Timing wise, that's as early as I could get started. I couldn't make the spring season. But I thought, well, I'll hike south, because I'll pass… 90% of the people that hike it hike it north to south. I'll meet them on the trail. I'll pass along information that could keep them safe. And so I did that.
And I wore my Insect Shield clothing, Mark, for the entire five months I was on the trail. And literally over that five month period, I never once had to even pull a crawling tick off of my clothing or my gear. I wore ExOfficio pants, an Insect Shield [bug repellent] t-shirt and shirt that Janine had sent me and [tick repellent] socks. This is the one of the actual gators that I wore for that 2000 mile trip. Pretty worn out. It's since done a cross country trip that I did a couple of years later from Delaware to California tried to do some of the same work. And ever since then, you know, I've been a complete advocate for the science behind your product.
And, you know, I can testify that whenever I've been wearing my Insect Shield clothing, I have never had a tick on me not even crawling on me that I ever found. I’ve been bitten by ticks since then. But it was when I wasn't wearing the clothing. I got bit on a cycling trip cross country. I thought I was safe because I was sitting in a cut grass front yard. But I wound up with a tick on me that night. So yeah, so I've been, you know, trying to teach people ever since then. This is 10 years now. I've been doing lectures. I've done presentations at the University of Louisville, at cemeteries where the groundskeepers are all exposed to ticks, to Boy Scout troops, all different kinds of groups that would allow me to come in and give a talk and one of my major pieces of advice is this [Insect Shield permethrin] technology works.
Mark at Insect Shield
It's much safer, wearing clothing that's treated rather than putting toxic chemicals on your skin, right.
I’m not a big fan of DEET. I’ve never found DEET particularly effective against ticks. It does work against mosquitoes. But, I'm not trying to poopoo, you know, using that as a tool, but just knowing that every time you smear a toxic chemical on your skin, it's not only working against the insects, but it's absorbing through your, your pores in your bloodstream. It’s not good for your immune system.
And you know, the other thing I recommend side by side with Insect Shield and with permethrin and that technology is, concentrate on building up your immune system, because the number one defense against all tick borne illnesses, is a healthy immune system.
People that get bit don't get sick, because their immune system fights it off. In hindsight I found I had some immunosuppressive experiences before I got bitten that affected my immune system enough that those 20 ticks, were able to kind of tip me over the edge and get me sick.
So that’s kind of a 30,000 foot view of how I found my way to you guys, and how I've stayed safe, for the last 10 years, you know, I am not going to be dissuaded from going back out and doing something I love and I don't teach fear. I teach knowledge and knowledge is power. And I'm not afraid at all to go back out and enjoy what I love.
Mark at Insect Shield
Yeah, that's really great. I'm so glad to hear about that. I mean, I've been at Insect Shield for about a year and a half. And, [I’ve been] getting to know the work that Janine Robertson did here. It's been really neat. She's established a lot of relationships. And we do try to do that, support folks that are into this kind of effort. I mean, whatever it may be. And one of the nice things is that people are creative, and they come up with different ways to promote and spread awareness, that kind of thing.
We did an interview here a week or so ago with Steve Baker, who's somebody else that we work with. And his whole effort was around bringing repellant bed nets to people in South America. So that, you know, that was something he got onto and we started treating nets for him. And it really grew into a big deal. So he's still working on that kind of stuff.
And we really do like to support like that. We will treat people's clothing; it's not always you know, that they may have stuff that's more specialized. And like the gaiters that you showed, you know, we don't sell gaiters, but we license our permethrin treatment to Outdoor Research and some of these other companies so yeah.
Gaiters. [Shows gaiters.] This is an Outdoor Research shirt. I’ll model for you. These are RailRiders, another one of your brand partners, these are pants. One of the things that I feel so - and you know this but I say this for your viewers - you know, I'm a volunteer.
I'm partnered with Insert Shield from the standpoint that I'm an ambassador for your product. And the only remuneration that's ever come from you guys is pieces of clothing. And to help keep me safe, but what I really respect through the years is that Insect Shield really puts their money where their mouth is. And for your viewers, Insect Shield sponsored the creation of two really, really well done education videos. This is the last time I got to work with Jeanine about four years ago, in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy nonprofit.
We all went to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and Insect Shield produced two videos, they're all about prevention, and early intervention, things like how to safely remove a tick. And these are hosted on your website. They're on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website. The ATC tries to make those videos available to all folks that are thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail as a thru hike or just day hikers. And I just say for your viewers and readers. Each of those videos are about seven minutes long. That's the best 15 minutes you can invest to keep yourself, and the people you love, safe. Whether you're using these products or not. This knowledge is really, really important.
Mark at Insect Shield
Yeah, that's really true. I mean, one of the great things is that some of the organizations that we work with, I mean, you can just reach even more people so you're making somebody aware, and then they can share that. People that that care, you know that they have family members or whatever else. A lot of folks are just kind of waking up to this issue of Lyme disease. And like you mentioned, they're still confronting this sort of lack of knowledge around the disease, and even doctors, you know, are not up on it. And that tends to cause some serious issues because people are spending like a year before they actually get a diagnosis of Lyme, which, you know, as we know, it's really detrimental to let it go that long.
That's a good point. And there's so many other tick borne illnesses beyond Lyme, it's very common that when someone gets infected with one tick borne illness, they more than likely will have more than one. I had the co infection, they call it called bartonella, sometimes known as Cat Scratch Fever, a variety of bartonella. But there's things like babesia, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, that's one of the more well known. And a lot of these ticks carry multiple pathogens. So you know, it's not just Lyme disease. That may be getting the most notoriety - rightly so because it is one of the fastest growing worldwide epidemics. But not alone.
So these preventative steps that you take, make so much sense on many levels. Ticks are tools for pathogens, no doubt about it.
Mark at Insect Shield
And that's something that we don't know a lot about. I mean, we're hoping to do an interview here coming up with a woman who is a researcher in the area of how the pathogens get passed from the tick to the human, other hosts, you know, whether it's mice or some of the other, I think squirrels are susceptible.
But there's a lot of unknowns in terms of how that's carried from one animal to another, and how the cells work together and stuff like that. So just kind of still in its infancy in terms of how we can handle this stuff. But like you said, I mean, that's a really good point about the immune system. Yes, we know, you know, people. I mean, that happens in other instances where people get mononucleosis, and then they're susceptible to more stuff. It can be kind of a cascading effect. So ticks just as much.
We really appreciate the work that you've done, and hope to continue to support you in these efforts.
You know, you also made a good point about the video, which is something that we have pretty strong capability with. We have a team that produced - I'm pretty sure they did - the one that you're referring to, and we're still working on getting more of that out there. Because we can go on location, make the videos, we've done some for, like Medical Teams International, they do work in Africa. We went over there and made some educational videos about that stuff. Malaria, you know. Most people know about malaria, but they don't know, the severity of it.
So right. I mean, in terms of the impact, did you feel like Lyme? Do you feel as good as you did before? Are you still feel like this is something…?
No, you know, Mark, if I caught it early, if I had been educated properly, it would have probably been a much more complete recovery. I still have health deficits 10 years later, some of which are cognitive, although I feel close to what I did before mentally. I don't have near the executive functioning deficits that I did before. I'm working part time again. But in all honesty, you know, full disclosure, a big part of the health issues that I continue to have, Mark, have to do with the treatment, trying to tackle Lyme, you know, six months after you've been bitten.
If you catch it early, you know, within the first couple of days, a short course of antibiotics, namely doxycycline, is highly effective against Lyme and several of the other tick borne illnesses. When you miss it, then treating becomes much more lengthy and toxic. The side effects of toxic medical treatments, you know, can linger as much as the disease does. So you know, I'm functional. But no, I'm definitely not where I was 10 years ago, prior to the tick bites?
And I tell people that you know, not as a fear inducing thing, because you can get your life back after an illness like that. And I did.
And there are a lot of people that haven’t [recovered]. I know so many chronic Lyme patients that are still struggling 10, 20, 30 years. Because of what you said, how little understood it is. There’s not a lot of research funding going into these tick borne illnesses. It's kind of shocking how few dollars from a federal standpoint, from NIH, and the CDC, are going into tick borne diseases.
The activity is number one. And when I talk about the immune system, I've talked to people about watching what they eat, of getting exercise, your mental attitude, that fear does not strengthen your immune system. So don't be afraid of ticks, be knowledgeable, knowledgeable about them, minimizing things like toxins that can suppress your immune system.
So things like toxic insect repellent, I'm not a fan. Between that, and getting malaria, then then yes, use them where you need to, but try to use them sparingly. You know, your [Insect Shield permethrin bug repellent] technology, as you describe so well on your website, is that chemical is bonded to the fabric layers themselves.
It's much safer to have a piece of clothing on you that's not being absorbed through your pores. Yes, contact with you. But, but I feel that that's, you know, I've done my research and I feel pretty confident it's safe. That's different than anything you put on your skin: hygiene products, deodorants, shampoos, all those things that have chemicals that aren't good for your immune system. Be aware of that.
Mark at Insect Shield
Good point. I mean, we maybe we should stress this more, but the process of bonding, you know, as they say, like permethrin, the chemical is a pesticide, and it's been used as a pesticide. But once it's bonded to clothing, and using the process that we do, it's no longer considered a pesticide. Because of [the treatment process] it's [classified by the EPA as] a repellent. And it is, like you say, it's not being absorbed. I mean, the amount that's being bonded to the clothes is quite low. And then the fact that it's not being applied to your skin is the determining factor for the risk. That's what makes it a much lower risk.
When I give presentations to families and youth groups, like the Boy Scouts, and the like, one of your services that I strongly promote, is sending your own clothing into Insect Shield. And they will use that, you know, you guys will use the same bonding treatment with people's clothes guaranteed for 70 washings, which is basically the light garment. And this is particularly useful for children who are outgrowing their outfits every year. So parents, you know, rather than going and buying from a retail store, and then a year later, before it's worn out, you know, if it's not worn out, you've got to get a new one. Choose the clothing that your child will wear voluntarily anyway, that clothing a like that they use in the outdoors and send it in and get treated. That's very economical.
I will use the spray on treatments, but I don't use those on my clothing anymore. I use those on my equipment. So I spray the bottom of my backpack, where it's going to make contact with the ground, I would spray the straps of my hammock that would make contact with the trees have ticks on them, they're gonna get off pretty quick. I think spray on treatment, you know, is definitely useful. But for me, personally, I like the treated fabric, especially fabric, it's just more economical in the long run. It's more effective, and it's safer.
Mark at Insect Shield
Yeah, it really is. I mean, we, we sell a spray. And that is exactly for that reason, like people have some item of clothing that they want to just quickly treat or whatever, but to get it treated, that is bonding it you know, by heat process. And then it's I mean, it lasts for five times as long as the spray does. So, yeah, we try to encourage people to do that. They're not, I'm not aware of any other company that offers that service with their treatments. So, sending it in, we get a lot of good feedback on that.
It’s very reasonably priced.
Mark at Insect Shield
Well, and when you think about it, like you said, the immune system [is the number one line of defense]. And number two, it's just the ease of putting on clothes. I'm still kind of amazed that when I find the tips on people’s websites, you see a lot of coverage these days in newspapers and online stuff, and they say, ticks are getting worse. And Lyme disease is awful.
But then in their tips for avoiding tick bites, it never mentions treated clothing, which is surprising, just because it's so easy to go that route. It's just one more line of defense, as we say. And the spray. The thing about applying, you know, the topical treatments like DEET is that we've had other people on this show, and they've said, Look, put that on your skin, the tick just crawls right across it. [Ticks] are like, I'm going somewhere else! And you're not going to put it all over your body. So it just doesn't do the protective thing.
No, not at all.
Mark at Insect Shield
And ticks are not jumping out of trees. They're crawling up from brush. Yeah, one of the things that I was reading about is that one reason ticks are not as bad in certain areas is that they tend to sit further down on the grass and stuff. And the ones that are higher up, those are the ones that get you when you you brush by. Now, you know, it's just a [matter of] awareness.
It is. You know, one of the gentlemen that partnered with the Insect Shield and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to produce those videos, was another through hiker who was a tick researcher, and you know, synchronicity of synchronicities. He hiked the Appalachian Trail the same season I did, we found each other in some forums before we started. His name is Dr. Karl Ford, Karl with a K. And his trail name, his Speed, he hiked from Georgia to Maine. We actually almost met each other in New Hampshire and figured out later we passed each other on the street. But he did, Mark, a survey, a research survey all along the Appalachian Trail taking tick samples.
And what he found was above a certain altitude, the tick populations plummeted, and it was much less risky. And I think he published what he found above 2700 feet in elevation on the Appalachian Trail, especially when you stayed at trail shelters, you were relatively safe at those higher elevations. But at low lying areas where the humidity is high, because have to stay moist, or they dry out and die. And those vegetated areas where they can crawl up and quest, they call it, stick those two front legs out and grab on to animals including us as you pass by. They pick up on those environmental signals your carbon dioxide, they know you're coming - body heat.
They're really well adapted little creatures.
I'm out in Wyoming, as I shared with you, and I'm at almost 8,000 feet elevation. And I know from Karl's research and others, I'm pretty safe up here, you know, it's not likely that I'm going to cross paths with a tick at 8000 feet, but it's not unheard of. It's just less likely and just knowing those things will help you be vigilant where you need to be vigilant. If you've crossed through a grassy, low lying, vegetated area, stop for a tick check on the other side of that of that area. Don't wait till that night, do it right, then.
Those are the things that that I teach and when you know those things, then the fear level just plummets away because you know, here I'll be vigilant. Here, I can relax a little bit more and, you know, and hike safely.
Mark at Insect Shield
Yeah, I think people don't often realize that the ticks have these different stages of development. Most people could recognize a tick I think if they see one in this larger sort of adult stage. You mentioned the nymphal ticks. Those are really like the size of a pin point and to see those you know, so you’ve got to check I mean, you’ve got to be able to check for those.
I keep some acrylic discs that another advocate that I met on the Appalachian Trail in southwest Virginia, runs a dog grooming business, and was constantly as she would groomed dogs in that area pulling 1000s of ticks off and she had Lyme disease herself and was a part of a nonprofit group there. As matter of fact, her picture is with me on your website on the page of mine, her picture’s there.
And as her advocacy, she would create these little clear plastic acrylic discs and put three tick samples in each one of them that were labeled larval tick, which is almost microscopic; nymphal tick, which is the second stage you mentioned, which is about the size of a fine pepper flake, you really have to look. Most disease transmission comes from nymphal ticks, the second stage of life, because people don't know they're bitten. They don't see them.
One more reason to wear light colored clothing, because you can see them crawling on this - not on blue jeans, or camouflage, that kind of thing. I did a lot of hunter education. Because I’d meet hunters on the Appalachian Trail because they are very vulnerable.
And then the adult ticks are much easier to see, right. Because of that they get removed more commonly and are less of a disease transmitter than the nymphal ticks are. But it's shocking when you see how small those little things are. Like I said, I had 20 of the nymphal ticks. Unless you had super… I do have these handy. These are my tweezers. These are like needles.
When you're trying to get a nymphal tick off, the last thing you want to do is squeeze that body. Most of the bacteria they carry are in their gut, or in their mouth pieces too. But you try to get it right at the base of that skin and pull it out. The video that you guys produced, you know, we actually demonstrated how to how to pull one off with these very tweezers.
Mark at Insect Shield
Yeah, that's really important. I mean, one of the things that that I learned recently is that, you know, the tick actually carries a kind of numbing agent. And so that is part of its little strategy. You know, evolutionarily, when it's biting. It numbs that area. So you're less aware of the bite itself.
Yeah, secretes a type of cement too, because it literally glues itself. It not only has, you look at a tick’s mouthparts under a microscope, and it looks like a sawfish snout with barbs that are angled backwards, so it punctures your skin, spreads its snout and anchors itself and then secretes this cement and glues itself to your skin.
And like you said, it has it an analgesic that numbs the area because it needs to stay hidden. And, you know, as a pure scientist, when you look at them, they're amazing creatures because they're so well adapted to survive.
But when we understand you know, some of these techniques they use, you understand why it's really important when you do remove a tick, grab it at the base, right? I always tell people pull a little piece of your skin off. You want to get those mouthparts and pull steadily backwards, slow and steady. Eventually, finally, those barbs will let loose and the cement will let loose and the tick will come off.
But you don't want to use a burnt match. You don't want to use chemicals, anything that irritates that tick means it may regurgitate. So those are some of the things we talked about, like in the videos that you guys produced. Those things, when you understand the basics, then the fear level goes way down. And you don't have to worry about enjoying the activities that you love. You're prepared to deal with that.
Mark at Insect Shield
Well, I really appreciate you coming on today, Logan McCulloch, and sharing some of your experience. And I think there are a lot of people out there that have felt the same thing. We'll put links below the video to the things that you've mentioned and some of the other resources that we offer. There are a lot of good groups, you know, you mentioned support groups. We know that some of the some of the Lyme organizations that we work with a support group networks, you know, now there's a lot of online stuff out there.
Was that group that you went to and in Kentucky, it was it face-to-face. I mean, you actually went in person and met with those guys.
It was face-to-face. They literally had just had their very first meeting the month before I was diagnosed and I found them through a national resource. There's a website called Lyme Net. That's a patient forum. You could post a request on their forum to find a Lyme doctor specialist in your area. So I posted on there to find one in Kentucky, which I later found out, there were none in Kentucky.
But one of the forum members was the lady that co-founded my local Lyme Support Group and she responded to me, told me where I could find a doctor in Ohio, and then mentioned to me, “Hey, we just started in Louisville, Kentucky, a brand new Lyme support group.” And I went to their second meeting in November of 2011.
And they're still there, like a lot of organizations. Now they're more Zoom based over the last year. But we've literally, you know, started out with a dozen people. And through the years, Mark, because of the explosion of Lyme disease, you know, that the white footed mouse is one of the major typhoid type vectors that the ticks actually get the bacteria, the Lyme bacteria from mostly rodents, but they're not like you said before, it's not just mice. It's other ones too.
But the white footed mouse population, mouse populations in general, have exploded in urban and suburban areas, because we wiped out all their predators. Snakes and foxes and a lot of other tick predators like possums we've, we've affected that balance. That's why you're seeing such an explosion of ticks that are infected with Lyme disease and passing it on to humans.
So that's how I found my local support group. And you're right. There are support groups in all 50 states, you know, including Hawaii and Alaska, but in the lower 48, and in particular, from California to Minnesota, to the New England states. And all the way down in the south, where ticks are very prevalent in all across the southeast and southern US.
Mark at Insect Shield
Yeah, we'll put some links below the video to those that we're aware of. And I you know, in general, those organizations if you contact them, if you're looking for more info, though, they'll put you in touch with that, too.
I mentioned earlier how I found you guys, and that was through lymedisease.org. Yeah, they're the oldest, not for profit. And it's really good online resource for information and Q&A.
Mark at Insect Shield
Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Logan. We really appreciate it. We'll be posting this soon. We hope to have you back and find out what you're up to in the future.
Sounds great, Mark it’s great to spend some time with you.