Preventing 3

By WVUA 23 Contributor Sydney Melson

Summer is approaching, and with warmer weather means unwanted visitors: ticks and mosquitoes. The Alabama Department of Public Health has some tips and tricks to help keep pests at bay.

“Ticks and mosquitoes can transmit viruses and bacteria when they bite, causing illnesses that range from mild to severe or even fatal,” Savannah Duke said, a Public Health entomologist. “While we continue to practice social distancing and handwashing this summer, we must not forget to take the steps necessary to prevent diseases carried by insects.”

Alabama faces a few diseases that ticks and mosquitoes host, such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Zika virus and Lyme disease. The best kind of prevention, the ADPH says, is to reduce your risk of being bitten.

If you believe you have a mosquito or tickborne disease, visit your health provider. If bitten by a tick, save the tick for identification and testing.

The ADPH and the Center for Disease Control recommend following these steps to protect yourself from ticks and mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellants with Environmental Protection Agency-approved ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Treat your clothing and camping or hiking gear with permethrin, and wear clothes that cover exposed skin.
  • Check window screening to ensure mosquitoes can’t get in your home.
  • Check around your yard and tip or toss any standing water, and fill holes or depressions where water tends to collect. Mosquitoes breed in standing water.
  • When visiting hiking trails, walk in the center of the trail and check for ticks when you get home.
  • Remove ticks immediately. Learn how to correctly remove a tick here.

The ADPH has more information on the prevalence and prevention of ticks and mosquitoes on their website.


Categories: Local News