Checking for Ticks, Spiders, and Snakes




Ticks appear to be prolific around Lake Texoma this year. Spring season, 2023, in Texomaland has given us a lot of rain and humidity. Ticks become resistant to the same pesticides used over and over. Fleas will be numerous too. Snakes like to hide in boots and shoes because they are constantly looking for shelter but also food sources. 

Brown recluses and other spiders like to hide in boxes, clothing, shoes, tires, bedding, furniture, and storage areas. When you are hiking, biking, or horseback riding around Texomaland this season, it is crucial to check yourself, your pets, and your clothes for ticks. When camping before you get dressed, check boots, clothes, and shoes for snakes, spiders, and ticks. Ticks want blood and are not as threatening to shoes. 

In Texas, snakes pose a real threat to people who wear boots with its ten species of rattlesnakes and three species of copperheads. Water moccasins also roam on land, but are not as likely to take refuge in boots. The most dangerous spiders in Texas are brown recluses and black widows, which live indoors and outdoors, so we need to check boots, clothes, and shoes indoors too. 

We have to check our pets too for ticks, even their gums, because ticks get in their mouths. Pets can bring ticks inside our homes. I had a cat that I used to take camping. He was a tabby, so he was easy to check for ticks. Long-haired pets are more difficult to check. The two most common species of ticks in North Texas are deer ticks and lone star ticks. 

Lone star ticks, a.k.a, brown dog or dog ticks, are aggressive human biters, and carry Bourbon virus disease, eherilichosis, heartland virus disease, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ‘stari’ borreliosis, and tularemia. Deer ticks carry anaplasmosis, babesiosis, eherilichosis, Lyme disease, Powassan virus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Both species can also carry other pathogens that cause syndromes. 

We also have striped bark scorpions in North Texas. Do not try to pick up a scorpion because you will be guaranteed to suffer from a scorpion sting. They live under rocks, logs, and organic debris, but they will move indoors. These scorpion stings are rarely fatal to adults, but they hurt more than a wasp sting and cause swelling, and hide in shoes. 

The Best Way to Prevent an Unexpected Bite from a Dangerous Critter

For ticks and spiders, inspect all clothing inside and out, shoes, and any other belongings, like backpacks. For shoes and boots, you can put a small but heavy object like a quarter in them and shake it around. Snakes and scorpions cannot bite through thick leather like cowboy boots. But they can bite through canvas and thin rubber, so rubber gloves will not protect from snake bites when inspecting footwear. Wearing rubber boots can reduce the amount of ticks you might collect, but they may not be sturdy enough for hiking or snakes can bite through them. 

Scorpions hunt nocturnally, so they usually try to find shady and cool places to stay during the heat of the day. When camping, turn your shoes upside down at night. If you can, keep your tent door zippered to help keep pests out. Do not walk barefoot outside on a hike or at your campsite. 

From the U.S. Forest Service to avoid ticks:

  • Avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter and walk in the center of trails when hiking.
  • Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
  • Use products that contain permethrin to treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents or look for clothing pre-treated with permethrin.
  • Treat dogs for ticks. Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and to some tickborne diseases. They may also bring ticks into your home. Tick collars, sprays, shampoos, or monthly “top spot” medications help protect against ticks.
  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find crawling ticks before they bite you.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon returning from tick-infested areas. Parents should help children check thoroughly for ticks. Remove any ticks right away.
  • Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed.

To check your body for ticks, stand in front of a mirror and check:

  • Back of the knees
  • Along the inside of the legs
  • Around the waist
  • Under the arms and in arm pits
  • Behind the ears
  • In and around head hair
  • Private parts




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Lake Texoma Weather Forecast

Sunday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 95

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 80

Monday

Hot

Hi: 98

Monday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 79

Tuesday

Hot

Hi: 97

Tuesday Night

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Wednesday

Hot

Hi: 98

Wednesday Night

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Lo: 79


Lake Texoma Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 6/23: 620.12 (+3.12)



Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 19)

GOOD. Water stained; 75 degrees; 3.56 feet above pool. Striper fishing is great on live bait anchoring on humps in 20-30 feet of water and drifting flats in 15-25 feet of water. Topwaters are working early in the backs of creeks and along river channels. Catfish are good on cut shad and prepared baits. Channels are on the rocks and shallow flats in 10-20 feet of water. Blue catfish are on deep humps in 40-50 feet of water. Bass are slow on shallow crankbaits and top waters early along the banks. Look for bass in the shade during the day near docks in 8-15 feet of water. Shad fry are everywhere so downsize baits to catch numbers. Crappie are slow on jigs and minnows near docks and on brush piles using electronics to spot active fish in 10-18 feet of water. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Water level continues to be high. Smaller striped bass are surfacing feeding on shad hitting topwaters and swimbaits. Slab bite is starting to turn on producing better quality fish in big schools in deep water. The slab bite will only improve. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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