A mild winter and rising temperatures mean that ticks are crashing the party early this year.
While you can't always avoid the pesky arachnids, you can take steps to remove them properly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's important to remove ticks as quickly as possible to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission, warning that old remedies like burning the tick off are not ideal.
While standard tools like tweezers are a better option, they can encourage twisting or jerking, which can cause part of the tick to stay in the skin. Simple gadgets such as the Tick Key make proper removal easier.
The Tick Key is a small one-piece device with three easy steps: place the key's slot over the tick, pull the key away from the skin, and remove the entire tick (including head). The key removes ticks of all sizes, including deer and dog ticks.
The device is made from anodized aluminum for strength and durability. It's flat and can attach to a key ring, collar or leash for storage.
The Tick Key is available in seven metallic colors (green, blue, orange, purple, red, pewter, and red). Retail price is $5.95.
For a list of retailers, go to www.tickkey.com.
-- Shelby Sheehan Bernard, McClatchy-Tribune
Reflective rope cut down on trips (into the dirt)
No more tripping over tent lines in the middle of the night. (OK, you still might, but at least you will see them.)
This rope has reflective material weaved into it so it shines when light hits it. Replace your existing guy lines with this line, or use it to string tarps and rainflies and shades.
Comes in orange and yellow. Price is $8.99 for 50 feet of 5/32 line, and $14.99 for 50 feet of 1/4- inch line.
Go to securelineproducts.com/reflective for more information.
-- Roger Phillips, Idaho Statesman