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A warning about ticks and poison oak


Deer Tick Poison Oak
Red Phase
Poison Oak
Green Phase
deer tick red poison oak green poison oak

After walking through natural areas, inspect yourself and your pet for ticks. If you find a tick burrowed head-down in your skin, you should encourage it to leave by spreading iodine, alcohol, or salt over the tick. (Suggestion taken from The Pocket Doctor by Dr. Stephen Bezruchka.) It is dangerous to try to pull off a tick since it’s head may separate from the body and remain lodged in your skin. After the tick is removed, be sure to wash the spot thoroughly with soap and water.

Poison oak, which is highly prevalent in some of the parks along the Circle Trail, can be very irritating to the skin. The leaves are shiny green in spring and turn orange or deep red in summer or fall. After the leaves fall off, white berries may remain on the vines through the winter. It is dangerous all year, whatever the color. If you touch poison oak, wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible. Be especially careful not to rub your face if your hands have come in contact with poison oak. You can also spread the irritant by touching clothing or a pet that has brushed against the plant.