Poisonous Plants and Insects

Woodcraft will enable the collector to identify and shun poison ivy and poison oak. Anyone who is sensitive to their irritants should learn in self-defense to recognize these plants. Washing with soap as soon as possible after exposure is the recommended remedy.

Sunburn and windburn are among the minor perils of the outdoors. Much discomfort can be avoided if the body is covered. Should one be burned, however, baking-soda solution will ease the discomfort, and the moist soda will also relieve the sting of insect bites. For most other purposes, such as cuts and scrapes incidental to all contact with nature, the best medicine is warm water and soap.

Wood ticks and most other insects can be destroyed with sprays. The wood tick would be a minor nuisance except that it sometimes carries the virus of Rocky Mountain fever, a once-deadly disease that now can be controlled with drugs. Ticks are small, flat gray insects that appear in warm weather. They hang on the twigs of underbrush, waiting to hitchhike a ride on a passing animal or man. Once having found a host, they burrow underneath the skin to feed on blood. If they are not too deeply buried they can be removed with tweezers; they can even be made to back out at the touch of a heated nail or a lighted cigaret. If they are beyond the reach of such remedies it is advisable to have a physician remove them, so as to avoid infection of the wound.

Chiggers infest prime collecting areas of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas and seem particularly fond of eastern city-dwellers who have never experienced their long-itching bites. Insect repellent should always be applied when you are crossing grassy or weedy areas in summer. Dusting clothing with powdered sulfur is recomended to keep both chiggers and ticks away. Lozenges of a sulfur preparation to be eaten for the same purpose are on the market.

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