Spring/Summer tick season is here.  If you and your dog are out in the woods or fields be sure to check for ticks when you return home.  If you don’t use flea and tick products in the winter which a lot of people don’t,  now is the time to start using it and continue until we have a hard freeze in the fall.  If you are unlucky enough to have a tick on you be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling it.  If you are even further unlucky and it attaches, be careful removing it trying hard to remove the head and the body of the tick.  A handy dandy tool that you most likely have around the house to remove a tick is a plastic spoon.  Cut a small notch or slit in the spoon, carefully slide the tick’s body into the notch or slit, push down with the bowl of the spoon, and slowly slide the spoon so that the tick is trapped at the back of the slit or notch.  Continue downward pressure and slide the spoon towards the tick until it is removed.  Using tweezers or needle nose pliers can also work but often you pull away the body but leave the head if you pull too hard.

There are some pretty effective all-natural products you can use that contain oils such as citronella, clove and peppermint oil.  These should be applied before any outdoor adventure but be careful not to get in eyes.  Spray on your hands and then rub on face do not spray on the face.

If you do not want to use any chemicals on your dog, then use a flea comb and comb entire coat after each outing.  For you, wear a hat, tie a scarf around your neck, button your collar, put rubber band around your sleeves and tuck your pants legs into your boots or your socks your shirttail into your pants to block entrance.  Ticks are not just an inconvenience;  they carry diseases that can be pretty devastating such as Lyme disease.  So be careful, use precautions and get out there and enjoy Mother Nature.