Friday, July 13, 2012

Dangers Lurking on Minnesota Acreage


We are in the Dog Days of a very warm Minnesota Summer! The weather is perfect for lakeshore picnics and weekends at the cabin. Many Minnesotans are itching to get out and enjoy the beauty of our area but nobody wants to be literally "itching". It is time to heed the warning of potential hazards on Minnesota acreage.

Anoka, Chisago  and Washington Counties in Minnesota boast some of the most beautiful, desirable acreage and lakeshore properties in the state. As a REALTOR® who works throughout the Ham Lake, Forest Lake, Blaine and Lino Lakes areas, I have to walk acres with clients to assess the land.  We walk the perimeters of wetland and hobby farm acreage properties to understand the property lines. Whether in a suburban backyard or  wooded field, whenever I show homes on Minnesota acreage, I am prepared. There can be dangers lurking in the underbrush.

Poison Ivy-- It is important to be extremely very aware of these poisonous plants as they are all over in Minnesota yards and wooded areas. Many property owners don't even realize the plants are poison ivy. Poison ivy is found all over the US while a close relative poison oak is found most often in the west. The plants to have a similar look and exposure to either of these plants will cause a similar, painfully itchy reaction.

Poison Ivy in will be rampant in the Summer
  • Classic poison ivy is grown to full "itchy" potential in the early summer.
  • Some leaves are notched.
  • Some leaves are not.
  • New leaves are shiny and still somewhat reddish.
  • Older leaves are duller.
  • Be careful not to accidentally burn poison ivy as you can have an allergic reaction to breathing in smoke too!
Poison ivy can be a ground cover, a vine or a bush. One small neglected patch can spread very quickly to a huge area. Exposure to this plant is an itchy nightmare that can last for several weeks unless treated with
prescription medicines, usually steroids. These plants can leave oil on clothing which can spread in the laundry. Be aware of this hazard when walking in any wooded area that you are unfamiliar with.

Think you can identify poison ivy? Take the POISON IVY PHOTO QUIZ

Wood ticks found on Minnesota AcreageWood Ticks/Deer Ticks--While the woods are often a haven for white-tailed deer, the beauty of these
animals is overshadowed by a frightening reality. Deer ticks are carriers of Lyme disease; a painful disease that can be quite debilitating if untreated. Deer ticks (or Black-legged ticks) are rarely found in maintained yards and are very tiny and often not noticed even after having bitten a host. The best defense is prevention of a deer
tick bite.

  • Dress Appropriately When walking acreage with underbrush or on property that has not been maintained, wear long sleeves and tuck in pant legs.

  • Use Bug Spray Effective repellents include DEET and Permanone. Spray clothing with Permanone repellent prior to wearing as it is not to be sprayed directly on the skin. DEET can be used on clothing and/or skin.Mosquito found on Minnesota acreage and wetlands
For additional information on ticks commonly found in Minnesota, read article "Minnesota Ticks and Their Control", by Jeffery D. Hahn.

Mosquitos--And don't forget that mosquitoes that are found in the wetland acreage. Mosquito bites are for the most part just annoyingly itchy in the spring. But in the fall, there is more of a risk of West Nile and encephalitis. This disease can be extremely serious and occasionally deadly, so mosquito spray is an essential when veiwing homes located near ponds, lakes and wetlands.


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