MOSQUITO AND TICK PREVENTION

July 2015

Summer trips often lead to wooded areas where mosquitoes and ticks often bite. Although usually these insects are just an annoyance, leaving an itchy inflamed area of skin, they can also spread diseases. Mosquitoes are known to carry malaria and other dangerous diseases such as encephalitis. Ticks are most frequently associated with carrying Lyme disease, but also can carry dozens of other diseases. To prevent mosquito and tick bites this summer, below are several tips.

  1. Know where they are.
    Mosquitoes live in wooded, leafy areas or by any stagnant water including pools, birdbaths, and trash.

    Ticks are also found in wooded areas, but they prefer to stay closer to the ground.

  2. Know when they are active
    Mosquitoes are mostly active between dusk and dawn.

    Ticks are usually active during the driest and warmest parts of the day.

  3. Use protection
    The best products to prevent both mosquitoes and ticks are those products which contain at least 20% DEET. Such products include Off!, Sawyer, and Ultrathon.

    If you are wearing sunscreen as well, the most effective way to protect from the sun, mosquitoes and ticks is to apply the sunscreen first and then thoroughly apply the bug spray.

    To protect against both mosquitoes and ticks, cover as much skin as possible when entering an area where mosquitoes and ticks live. Tucking in shirts and pants will also help avoid ticks and mosquitoes.

    Always cover up when working in the yard gardening or
    mowing the lawn.

If you are bitten by a mosquito use the following tips:

  1. apply hydrocortisone cream
  2. do not scratch the bite

Who Mosquitoes are Attracted to
Mosquitoes are most attracted to people whom they can sense the best. This includes people who:

  1. have large amounts of cholesterol on their skin (people who process Cholesterol efficiently)
  2. emit large quantities of carbon dioxide
  3. are pregnant
  4. have recently ingested beer
  5. wear vibrant colors (black, blue, red)

If you are outdoors in wooded areas, use the following tips:

  1. Bathe or shower as soon as you return from the outdoors
  2. Inspect your entire body for ticks
  3. Remove any ticks by using tweezers. Be sure to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull outward steadily without twisting or jerking. Clean the skin thoroughly after removing the tick and place the tick in alcohol. For a tutorial view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27McsguL2Og
  4. You may send any ticks to a lab for testing to see if the tick carried any dangerous diseases. For more information about labs visit: http://www.tickencounter.org/tick_testing/labs

Websites:
http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html
http://www.mosquito.org/faq
http://www.placermosquito.org/education/vectors-and-diseases/mosquito-facts/
http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-10255934/?no-ist