The other day I told you that after the mild winter of 2016, many entomologists have predicted a longer and more severe tick season this summer. From some of the responses I got from that post on social media, it appears the experts were right.
People from Connecticut (heart of Lyme disease country) to Mississippi to Texas reported that ticks are bad and thick. Jeff from Kentucky told me, “Worse tick season I’ve ever seen in Kentucky, and I’ve see some bad ones. Stand in the grass one minute and you’ll pull off 20 of them!”
The short, mild winter can also be blamed for an increase of another critter we love to hate, snakes! For example, snake bites in Georgia are up 40 percent this year, and South Carolina is reporting a 30 percent increase. North Carolina has seen a notable spike in bites.
I tell you this because July 4th weekend is the unofficial beginning of deer season 2017. It’s hot out, but our minds are starting to turn toward cooler October days and what they might bring. This weekend, in between flying the flag and celebrating America with family and friends, many of us will slip away to the woods to set out more minerals, hang trail cameras, or just look around and dream.
Remember those ticks and snakes crawling out there and take precautions!
The best thing you can do is to wear knee-high boots, which protect against both snakes and ticks. From July to September, I NEVER go into the woods without tall boots. These will alleviate 90% of potential problems.
Spray your clothes with Permethrin, use Deet and remember these tips to protect from ticks.
On to snakes, which I totally hate. About 30 percent of snakebites are “dry,” meaning no venom is injected. Some 7,500 venomous snakebites are reported each year in the U.S, but only about 5 people a year die, thanks to anti-venom.
Obviously look around and be careful where you step. Before pouring out minerals and setting cameras, when your arms and hands are lower to the ground, look close and make sure the coast is clear of snakes.
Your snake boots will protect you 99% of the time. But if on the off-chance bitten you’re bitten, get to a clinic or doctor fast as you can. Try to remember the size and color pattern of the snake that bit you. If you think or know that the snake was venomous, call 911.
I am so damn scared of snakes that if I get bit, I’ll probably have a heart attack and be down and done. But you should remember these snake-bite tips from the Mayo Clinic:
–While waiting for medical help, remain calm and move beyond the snake’s striking distance.
–Remove jewelry and tight clothing before you start to swell.
–Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
–Clean the wound, but don’t flush it with water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.
–Caution! Don’t use a tourniquet or apply ice. Don’t cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom.
On a brighter note, enjoy the woods this weekend and have a great 4th!