July 26, 2022
Enjoy the benefits of being outdoors this summer by going for a hike, working in the garden, or cleaning up the yard−and remember to be tick and mosquito smart to avoid being bitten.
Ticks: While not all ticks in our area carry diseases, a significant number do. You cannot tell by looking at the tick if it is carrying bacteria that can make you sick. Diseases, like Lyme disease, spread by ticks can cause serious health effects, so it is important to take the following precautions to help to reduce your risk:
- Do a complete tick check of your entire body when you return from the outdoors and have someone check the back side of you.
- Insect repellents containing DEET or Icaridin can be sprayed on clothing or skin to repel ticks (be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use).
- Stay on the groomed part of trails where there is no vegetation for ticks to hide on.
- A quick shower may help wash away ticks that have not yet attached.
- Outdoor wear can be placed in the dryer for a few minutes to kill ticks.
- Speak to your vet about ways to protect your pets.
- If a tick has been attached for longer than 24 hours, seek medical attention
Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes can also carry viruses that can cause illness, such as West Nile Virus. For most people, the risks of illness from mosquito-borne viruses are low; yet, the viruses can cause serious illness in some people. The following measures can help prevent mosquito bites:
- Apply insect repellents sparingly to exposed skin. Effective repellents contain DEET or Icaridin. Be sure to follow directions and use age appropriate concentrations. DO NOT USE personal insect repellents on children under two years of age.
- Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, as mosquitoes are most active at that time.
- Repair or replace old and torn screens in doors, windows, and vents that no longer prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Discourage mosquito breeding grounds around your home by reducing standing water, cleaning eaves troughs and down spouts, circulate pools and ornamental ponds, clean bird baths frequently and clean up items in your yard that may capture rain water.
More information about the types of disease spread by ticks and mosquitoes can be found on our Insect Bites and Diseases section of our website, or call 1-800-660-5853. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @LGLHealthUnit.
For media interviews, contact: Katie Lamb, Multi-Media Specialist, Social Media at 613-803-5116 or email [email protected].