What to Do About Ticks and Mosquitoes
This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.
Mosquitoes and ticks can carry deadly germs, so it’s important to know how to prevent bites and what to do in case you or your child is bitten. Stay aware of signs of illness after anyone in the family has been bitten.
Also, take preventative measures to decrease the chances of your family being bitten by ticks and mosquitoes. Ticks are often thought to only hide out in the woods, but you can also find them in your yard and home.
How to Check for Ticks
Pets can carry ticks inside through their fur after being outside. If you have pets, get into the habit of checking them every day. After spending time outside, you should check your body for ticks as well. Especially important areas to check are under the arms, in and around the ears, the belly button, in the hair, the groin, behind the knees, and around the waist.
You should also take a shower within two hours of being back inside to wash away any overlooked ticks. Put your clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes. If you find a tick on your body, carefully remove it by the head with tweezers and flush it down the toilet.
Preventing Tick Bites
Ticks like to live in high grass, bushes, and the woods. Deter them from your home by keeping the grass cut, disposing of fallen leaves, and maintaining bushes and trees. You can create a barrier of gravel or wood chips between your yard and wooded areas to help prevent ticks from finding their way into your home.
If deer have access to your yard, put up a fence to keep them out. This will help prevent ticks from being transported into your yard. Always apply insect repellent before going outdoors.
Preventing Mosquito Bites
Just as with preventing tick bites, you should apply an EPA-registered insect repellent before going outside to keep mosquitoes away from your body. Sunscreen should go on before insect repellent. Other ways of preventing mosquito bites involve making your yard less desirable to breeding mosquitoes.
Never keep standing water in the yard. Schedule time once a week to dump any collected water. If you have a fountain or pond outside, you can add larvicides to the water to prevent mosquito breeding. Be careful that no one drinks the water if you add larvicides to it.
Knowing how to prevent tick and mosquito bites will help keep you and your family safe from related health issues.