It’s time to be outside enjoying the sunshine during the day and the sunsets at night. It’s also time to be thinking about protecting yourself from mosquitos and ticks.
Mosquitos are most active during the morning and the evening hours. They can bite you anywhere you are. Ticks are active throughout the day, you usually find ticks in trees or tall grass. Bites from mosquitos and ticks are not just itchy, some mosquitos and ticks carry disease that you can catch from a bite. Mosquitos in Erie can infect you with West Nile Virus. This can be a mild illness, but it also can lead to serious problems. Ticks can infect you with Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which are treatable with antibiotics.
To protect yourself from mosquitos, the best thing to do is wear a repellant. There are numerous options available; the most effective repellants contain DEET or Picaridin. There are also natural products, look for lemon eucalyptus oil as an ingredient. Do not rely on bracelets, stickers, or other wearable devices for protection. These things do not work. Using citronella candles, coils, or torches can help decrease the number of mosquitos in the area but these do not fully protect you from bites. They work when the citronella smoke is between you and the mosquito, but mosquitos can still reach you in other directions. You can also reduce the number of mosquitos near your house by getting rid of standing water, such as in a bucket or a wading pool.
To protect yourself from ticks, you should wear a repellant. Look for the same ingredients as for mosquitos. Another way to protect yourself from ticks is to wear long pants and long sleeves when you are going to be in an area with trees or long grass. These keep ticks off of your skin. You can also use Picaridin sprays for your clothes. After you have been in places where ticks are, it is a good idea to inspect your skin for ticks. When ticks bite, they hang onto you for some time. You should remove a tick from your skin as soon as possible to prevent illness. To remove a tick, follow these directions: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks. If you have a black area or scab over the tick bite, or if you develop a red ring around the tick bite, you should call your health care provider. These are signs that the tick may have been carrying a disease.