Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One Thing Not To Take Home With You

Tick Prevention Information 
Sharing this article from and Virginia State Parks:
Be warned this might really tick you off!
A visit to a Virginia State Park is full of family fun. Whether you are hiking, picnicking, camping, boating, fishing... you will bring home many memories. A visit to one of our gift shops will let you select a souvenir of your visit. One thing we don't want you to bring home is ticks.
Yes, it's that time again. Warm and hot weather makes ticks more active and it's more likely you will inadvertently take one home with your after an outdoor visit.
My husband seems to be a tick attractor. Just a walk through the nature walk near our home usually nets a few ticks. We are firm believers in daily tick checks. Most tick borne diseases are only transmitted after the tick has been attached for several hours to a couple of days, so the sooner you get the little devil off you, the better. Make it a game with your kids. In fact, anytime they have been playing outdoors, you should make it a practice to do a tick check. 
A good method to check for ticks is in the shower or bath or stand in front of a mirror in your bathroom.
Prevention is the best practice, although the Mid-Atlantic is known for a furious tick season in the summer months, if you plan to hike stay on the trail, avoid tall grass, and wear long pants with socks!
You will see that your Virginia State Parks keeps the grasses around the cabins and campgrounds mowed short and all visitor areas, remind your kids to not wander off into fields or buffer areas at the parks.

This tick advisory from the Virginia Department of Health
 does a great job of explaining the symptoms for tick borne diseases. It also explains the best way to prevent them and the proper way to remove them.
See this comprehensive article "Peak tick season is nearly here—are you ready?"by Consumer Reports here.

If you are aggressive with checking for ticks after outside work and play, you should bring home only fond memories of your outdoor adventures.
PS Don't forget Fido - the best idea for him is a preventative treatment such as Frontline Plus for flea and tick control.

As always BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist wants you to get outside, explore and learn something new today. Get involved in something cool! Learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist program here 

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