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Posted on: June 8, 2018

Summer Safety Tip No. 3

mosquito

  • Avoid scented soaps, perfumes, etc
  • Use a bug spray with DEET, which wards off mosquitoes (which can spread West Nile virus) and ticks (which can carry Lyme disease). According to WebMD, pediatricians recommend 10% to 30% DEET for children older than 2 months, but don’t use it on infants.
  • Avoid mosquito hot spots - standing water, uncovered foods or flowering gardens. Check your yard for areas that might have standing water - tire swings, old buckets or toys, low-lying areas, flower pots, bird baths, etc. Standing area is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Wear light-colored clothing and long-sleeved shirts and pants are even better - cover that exposed skin. But watch overly bright colors as they can attract wasps. 
  • Mosquitoes can be most active early in the morning or in the evening when the breezes are not as strong.
  • Get a ceiling fan or use a floor fan on your deck to keep the air moving. Mosquitoes aren't strong fliers and a steady breeze can keep them at bay.
  • Many of the same tips can be used to avoid tick bites - long sleeves and pants and light-colored clothing - to better see a tick crawling on you.
  • Tuck your pants into your socks to avoid ticks from crawling up your leg. Or better yet if you are walking in a heavily wooded area, tape your pants and sleeves shut.
  • After spending time outdoors, especially in wooded areas, gardens or in tall grass, it's a good idea to do a tick check. Be sure to check in folds of skin and don't forget your head.

Information and symptoms of West Nile: symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. They can last a few days to several weeks and usually go away on their own. In extreme cases West Nile can cause inflammation of the brain, called encephalitis, or inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called meningitis. Older people and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.  


Information and symptoms of Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick. A tick must be attached to you for 36-48 hours to transmit Lyme disease. 

Early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and swollen lymph nodes - all common in the flu. In up to 80% of Lyme infections, a rash is one of the first symptoms. 

Without treatment, symptoms can progress. They might include:

  • Severe headache or neck stiffness
  • Rashes on other areas of the body
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees
  • Loss of muscle tone or “drooping” on one or both sides of the face.
  • Heart palpitation or an irregular heartbeat
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet


Thanks to deBugged, the Pest Control Blog, and the National Institute for Health for some of this information. 

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