Danger on the Trail: Michigan’s Tick Season in Full Swing

Danger on the Trail, photo by otisourcat

The other day I went on a hike. After I got in the car, I belatedly remembered to check for ticks and found TWO just hanging out on my leg.

You can check out the information about Michigan ticks from the State of Michigan, and you might also find these 5 essential oils that repel bugs useful:

  • Lavender – This smells sweet to us but bugs absolutely hate it. It works on mosquitoes, flies and other insects.
  • PennyRoyal – this is a member of the mint family and it is toxic to insects.
  • Lemongrass – This essential oil comes from tropical lemongrass and has a citrusy sent. It is a natural flea and tick repellent and can be sprayed directly on the skin.
  • Eucalyptus – use this alone or along with citronella oil to keep bugs away. According to the Journal of medical entomology, Eucalyptus extract can reduce tick bites and infections.
  • Lemon – some lemon essential oil can work against fleas and other bugs. Slightly dilute it and spray it on your clothing and skin.

View the photo bigger and see more in otisourcat’s massive Here & Now slideshow.

Possum Power!

Caught In The Headlights, photo by James Marvin Phelps

Tick season is upon us, and with the added threat of Lyme disease, it’s serious business here in Michigan. My friend Tara with the Leelanau Conservation District shared some information about opossums from Opossum Awareness & Advocacy (opossum facts image below that you can share):

Did you know that opossums eat up to 5000 ticks per season thereby reducing our risk of contracting Lyme Disease and other tick-born diseases? They kill vermin, including mice, and garden pests. They are not dirty; they are very clean animals and groom and clean as much as cats. Better still, most opossums cannot contract or spread rabies. Opossums are the United States and Canada’s only marsupials.

They may look a little scary to the uninitiated, but they are actually timid and do so much good for humans compared to most other creatures. If you see an opossum consider yourself lucky, leave it alone and please do not harm it. They have a hard time surviving in cold climates because they don’t have very thick coats. Sometimes opossums play dead because they are afraid. Please don’t hit them with your car. Spread the word and please help protect opossums!

View the photo background big and see more in James’ massive Michigan slideshow, and follow James Marvin Phelps Photography on Facebook.