Longer days and abundant sunshine gets most of us out of the house for some outdoor fun. Whether you are camping, relaxing in a hammock or cooking up some burgers on the backyard grill, here are some tips to help keep mosquitos and ticks from ruining your summer fun.
Mosquitoes have ruined many a nice summer evening outdoors. Besides the annoyance and itch from a mosquito bite, these flying pests can be a serious health threat. Mosquitoes spread a number of diseases, including West Nile and Zika viruses. There have also been recent reports of several people in the U.S. being infected with malaria. As of early July, all reported cases have been Florida and Texas. The CDC notes the chance of being infected by malaria in the U.S. is very low. To keep the mosquito population down around your home, get rid of
standing water, use screens on porches and doors and keep leaves and brush from piling up. You should also wear long sleeves and pants if there is a lot of mosquito activity in your area.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detailed information about mosquitoes and preventing bites on their website.
Delaware County and all of southeast Pennsylvania is heavily infested by the blacklegged tick. Formerly known as the deer tick, these buggers carry Lyme Disease, which if not treated early, can have serious consequences. Its larvae feed on birds, mice, squirrels and other small animals, according to entomologists at Penn State University. The adult ticks prefer deer, but will feed on humans at any stage. There are other ticks that inhabit our area of Pennsylvania. The most recognized is the lone star tick, which can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other diseases.
Tick exposures increase in the spring and summer months. Over the past few years, health departments have seen a steady rise in tick-related emergency room visits in our area.
Here are some steps you can take to minimize your exposure to ticks:
First, know that while they like living in wooded or grassy areas they are also found in backyards. The state department of health recommends using an insect repellent that contains 20 percent DEET on your skin and products that contain .5 percent permethrin on clothing before spending time where ticks are found. It is helpful to wear light-colored clothing outside so you can spot a tick easier. When you go inside, check your clothing and do a full-body check for ticks. Shower within two hours if possible. Make sure to check your children and pets for ticks as well.
The same insect repellents that keep mosquitos at bay are also helpful in preventing mosquito bites. If you are bitten by a tick and develop Lyme symptoms, know the disease can be treated with antibiotics if detected early. But as usual, prevention is key. Delco Alarm Systems wish’s everyone a safe and enjoyable summer.