Safety tips to avoid mosquito, tick bites

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Article Published: Jul. 25, 2013 | Modified: Jul. 25, 2013
Safety tips to avoid mosquito, tick bites

While the summer season is a time for enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, it is important to remember three important safety tips to reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites and tick-related diseases: Clean up, cover up, and check yourself every day.

“With summer in full swing, there is a new batch of infectious mosquitoes and ticks swarming right around where we work, live, and play,” officials with the Watauga County office of the Appalachian District Health Department said.

Ticks and mosquitoes often carry bacteria, parasites and viruses that can be transmitted to humans.
Ticks and mosquitoes are both most active in the warmer months of spring and summer. The most common virus transmitted from mosquitoes in the U.S. is West Nile virus, while Lyme disease is the most commonly transmitted disease from ticks.

Clean up all areas around home that attract water because mosquitoes are drawn to standing water. Dispose of open containers that collect water, such as tin cans, plastic containers and ceramic pots, according to the health department.

The department also suggests that area residents clean their roof gutters, clean and chlorinate swimming pools and aerate ornamental ponds.

For pools of water that cannot be removed or drained, homeowners can buy BTI products to kill mosquito larvae.

“Cover yourself by wearing a hat, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and be sure to spray insect repellant containing 20 to 50 percent DEET on any exposed skin, reapplying as needed,” officials said. “Check your skin and clothing for ticks daily. Be sure to check hair, underarms and groin. If tick is found immediately remove with fine-tipped tweezers: Grasp tick firmly as close to skin as possible, pull the tick’s body away from skin with a steady motion, and clean the area with soap and water. To kill ticks on clothing, wash and dry on the hot setting.

“If you experience any symptoms of body ache, fever, headache, fatigue and joint pain, seek medical attention as soon as possible.”

For more information, visit or contact the health department at (828) 264-4995 or at Facebook and Twitter.

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