Saturday, March 18, 2017

I'm Kind Of Not Looking Forward To The Warm Weather Months

The Spring season will officially be here in 2 days. For us New England folks, that means very little right now. The temperatures are still below freezing. We can't rule out another snowstorm or two. There's still snow on the ground. And, we've got another month or so left before the grass turns greens and the trees and spring flowers start budding and blooming. Spring tends to be a gradual process in our neck of the woods.

For the first time in a long time, I'm not looking forward to the warm weather months. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of the cold. I enjoy the warmth of the late spring and summer sun. I love that everything is green and the trees, flowers, and our porch of produce is blooming and abundant. What I don't like are the bugs. I'm mostly referring to the stinging insects, fleas, ticks, red ants, and flies.

As our family has grown over the years, making sure our kids are safe from these annoying and dangerous bugs has become more time consuming and tedious. We take a lot of precaution.

I may even be a little OCD about it. 

Our biggest preventative measure is that Coco, Sophie, and Lobo are all on Revolution. It's a prescription. We'll get Willa started on it when she has her doctors appointment next week.

We've been using that since we adopted Coco almost 5 years ago. He was prescribed Revolution because he had Sarcoptic mites. It was then we learned about how effective it was for fleas, ticks, heartworm, Sarcoptic mange, and ear mites.

Shortly after, we learned that Coco was allergic to flea saliva. We made the decision to stick with Revolution and we've never had a problem with fleas, ticks, heartworm, or parasites.

Even though Revolution works incredibly well, it does not prevent the occasional tick from coming in on their fur. Dogs are tick taxis. Each time our kids go outside during tick season, they get a quick body scan immediately after. In almost 5 years, we've spotted 2 ticks.

Last summer, we learned the hard way that it's not just the kids we have to body scan. It's us too. Lisa was bitten in the head by a tick and contracted Lyme Disease. Although I joked about having 2 "Lymies" in the house, it was no laughing matter. Lyme Disease is scary stuff.

Revolution also doesn't prevent a brave flea from biting Coco, once or twice a summer, while he's outside. That single bite is the equivalent of 20 mosquitoes biting one of us in the same spot. However, a few days of Benedryl and his ointment takes care of it.

Aside from the pesky stuff Revolution takes care of, we also have to contend with a myriad of other bugs. At the top of the list are bees and their stinging relatives.

Lobo is famous for feasting on flying insects. He's been stung and bitten a few times. Thankfully there was no allergic reaction. Coco and Sophie will occasionally lunge for a flying insect. We're not sure what Willa will do. This will be her first Spring and Summer season with us.

Then, there are the small reddish brownish ants that mound up on the cement pathways and backyard. It grosses me out. It looks like a huge dirt pile, but they're ants.

I've accidentally stood near a couple of these mounds. I didn't realize it until my foot and ankle were covered. They bite. I have a reaction to their bites.

In the early morning hours, when Lisa takes our kids out, despite her best efforts locating these ant mounds with a flashlight, one of our kids gets too close.

Last summer, it happened to Sophie. Twice. After Lisa brought her back in, Sophie was hopping around, whining, and itching herself. Lisa immediately picked her up. Her tiny feet were covered in those reddish brownish ants. We picked them off and snapped them between our fingers.

During the warm weather weather months, during the reddish brownish ant season, when our kids are brought back inside in the morning, we inspect them for ants.

As I'm writing this, I can hear the sound of those ants snapping between our fingers. Shivers. Up. My. Spine.

And then, there are house flies. Our kids see those as sky raisins. I see them as flying pests that could potentially give our kids intestinal parasites, worms, or some other sickness.

Last year, we had the invasion of the caterpillars. Trees were wiped clean. Our area wasn't hit too bad, but there were plenty of caterpillars that found refuge on our porch and the backyard.

Those little suckers turned into moths. Taking the kids outside in the afternoon was hell. It was like walking through a swarm of moths. That lasted for a few weeks. I've heard rumors that it's going to be worse this summer.

Bugs simply freak me out. I don't like them in our home or on our kids or on us. With 5 kids and 2 humans in our household, precautionary measures, inspections, and everything between will be constant and around the clock.

And, I'll have to do more research on how to minimize the exposure and come up with all natural solutions to prevent them from entering our home.

We don't use dangerous chemicals or insect sprays.

Inhale. Exhale.

You know what's going through my brain right now...over and over and over?

A day in the life of a work at home Dog Mom...


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