Mosquitoes and ticks are carriers of diseases which can make people sick, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Lyme Disease. Warm days and a higher frequency of outdoor activities make summer a high-risk season for getting bitten by these critters; take precautions when spending time outdoors to limit your exposure.
- Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Be sure to pour out all buckets, coolers, and other containers after use.
- Use a U. S. Environmental Protection Agency registered repellant to ward off mosquitoes
- Wear long sleeves and pants when possible and tuck in shirts to limit the amount of exposed skin.
- Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise, sunset, and dusk.
- Replace porch lights with yellow “bug lights;” these bulbs tend to attract fewer mosquitoes than standard lights.
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after being outdoors, especially in moist, wooded or grassy areas, and be sure to perform a tick check. Ticks are tiny bugs which like to hide in warm places, so be on the lookout for “new freckles” inside and behind the ears, along the hairline, on back of the neck, armpits, inside the belly button, between the legs, behind knees, and between toes.
- Carry a copy of the Tick Identification Card.
- Keep your yard free from rotting leaves and damp grasses to reduce the chances of breeding ticks.
If you find a tick somewhere on your body, don’t be alarmed. Use fine-tipped tweezers to pull the tick out. Avoid home remedies like petroleum jelly or nail polish. The key is to remove the entire tick as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Follow-up with a health professional if you develop a fever or rash at the site of the bite.
Taking a few precautions will help to keep you healthy, happy, and bite-free this summer!