Monday, May 12, 2008

Spring is in the air...

Flowers are in bloom, the sun is shining, time to mow the lawn and enjoy BBQ on the patio. But, remember, spring time is also a time of year when bugs, spiders, snakes and poisonous plants come out of their shells. The Texas Poison Center gets a lot of calls this time of year, and it’s good to know they’re open 24-hours a day and offer free medical assistance.

Did you know that the popular house plant, Pothos Ivy, is poisonous? Make sure your ivy is on a high shelf and out of the reach of children. The Oleander is poisonous as well, watch the pets to make sure they don’t nibble on the leaves. Can you identify poison ivy? It’s no wonder that many people can’t because it has many looks…its leaves can be as small as 1/3 of an inch up to 2 1/4 inches. Usually this ivy consists of three pointed leaves, the middle leaf much bigger than the side ones. The leaf edges can be ragged or smooth, can be shades of green, yellow, orange or red! You can see more pictures here.

Creepy, crawly bugs and snakes are coming out of the woodwork to enjoy the warm weather. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a few rattle snakes out where I live already this spring. Did you know that scorpions are poisonous but none of the Texas scorpions are deadly? I wouldn’t want to test that fact! Watch out for Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spiders, they can be pretty nasty if you have a run in with one.

Go to the Poison Control’s website and check out all the facts, there is a lot of misinformation out there , i.e. induce vomiting, extract snake venom, use ice or a tourniquet! You can also do more research on all things poisonous at our many Library databases, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Go to the 590s in the Library to look at books on snakes and insects, the 580s and 630s for plants.

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