Summer is for hiking, camping, the beach, and too-many-to-count fun outdoor destinations and activities. But summer is also for bothersome bugs. While most bug bites are harmless, mosquitoes and ticks can be different. Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as dengue fever, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and West Nile virus. Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Luckily there are some things you can do to keep mosquitoes and ticks at bay. Here are some tips:
- Have long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and socks handy if you’ll be outdoors. If you’re outside a lot in the summer, at different places, you may want to keep these three items in the trunk of your car.
- If you notice any standing water around or near your house, e.g., rain water that has collected in an empty bucket, get rid of it, Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water.
- Mow the lawn, trim bushes, and rake up fallen leaves to help keep ticks away.
- Before going outside, spray on bug repellent.
- Check for ticks (you and your pet) after being outside, and shower after being outside.
- Don’t forget to put a veterinarian-approved tick collar or spot-on repellent on your pets.
If you find a tick on your skin, use a pointy tick removal tweezer to remove it. First, disinfect the tweezer with rubbing alcohol. Grab the tick near its head or mouth and close to the skin and then gently pull using a slow, steady motion until the whole tick comes out. Wash your hands and the bite with soap and water. Put rubbing alcohol on the bite. Don’t use a hot match to kill and remove a tick, as the match could cause burns to the skin.