This spring has had its share of snow and rain mixed with snow. It’s definitely a far cry from the old saying, “April showers bring May flowers.”

Even with the white stuff falling from the sky at the end of April, the summertime pests seem to be right on track.

Woodticks and the even more dreaded, deer ticks, are now out. The mosquitoes are also showing up here and there.

In order to prevent Lyme disease, there are a number of tick preventatives available for cats and dogs. Whether it be in a pill form, or some sort of ointment to be applied to the animal, your veterinarian can point you in the right direction. There’s also a vaccination to help prevent Lyme disease in dogs.

Our veterinarian recommends starting the tick prevention in April. I thought I had a little time yet with the cool and wet spring we’ve been having, but it turns out I was wrong.

All of a sudden, I discovered a woodtick stuck to the top of my dog’s head. Other pet owners I talked to were also finding ticks.

During the last weekend of April, I did happen to see a mosquito or two fly by. As far as I’m aware, none of them bit me yet.

I predict it won’t be long until the mosquitoes will be out in swarms. Just like the woodticks, the mosquitoes are an unavoidable reality in northern Minnesota.

I’ve tried just about every suggestion for repelling mosquitoes, but have yet to find one that works.

I just recently read a post on social media that said catnip oil is an effective mosquito repellent. In researching the matter on the Internet, I found an article from Aug. 28, 2001 on webmd.com that appears to agree.

“The essential oil of catnip may be 10 times more potent than standard insect repellents in fighting off mosquitoes,” it reads.

Depending on price, I’d be willing to try rubbing catnip oil to prevent mosquito bites. If it’s effective, this stuff will definitely be the “cat’s meow” as far as I’m concerned.

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