Now is the perfect time for fun outdoor activities and relaxing with friends and family before the full heat of summer weather descends. However, it also comes with the prevalence of ticks and mosquitoes. Sure, these pests are irritating, but they can also spread serious illnesses. Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are some of the most common illnesses that come from ticks, while mosquitoes are known to carry the West Nile virus, malaria, chikungunya, and zika, among others.
One of the best ways to prevent bites from ticks and mosquitoes is to use an insect repellant, preferably one with at least 20 percent DEET, IR3535, or picaridin. Also, it’s important that the repellant is EPA-approved. Whatever repellant(s) you choose, be sure to follow the instructions on how much and how often you should apply the product, how to wash it off, and so on. Essential oils are other products that can help keep ticks and mosquitoes away, and a little often goes a very long way. For instance, all it takes is applying a couple drops for each person (e.g., on shoes, necklace charm, etc.).
Keep Your Lawn in Shape
It’s also a good idea to keep your lawn and garden manicured throughout the warm months. Ticks love to live in long grass, and they can easily attach themselves to any passersby — human or pet. Working on your home’s landscape will help control pests, and it is also a great hobby for dealing with stress. Working in the yard away from your screens is perfect for relaxing.
In addition to helping mitigate mosquito and tick populations, having a well-landscaped garden can also raise your home’s value. Be sure to keep track of any improvements made outside with receipts and other documentation.
Wear Long Clothing
Another practical way of preventing tick and mosquito bites is to wear longer clothing. For instance, if you’re planning on walking in wooded areas, wear pants, shoes, and long-sleeved shirts. Make sure your shirt is light-colored; not only will it be more comfortable in the heat, but mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
Check Yourselves and Your Pets
Anytime you, your family members and/or pets have been in a wooded or buggy area, be sure to check everyone for ticks and mosquitoes. Removing ticks as soon as possible will decrease the likelihood of diseases transferring from the tick. Furthermore, check any gear that was taken with the person or pet outdoors (e.g., camping gear, backpacks, pet harnesses, etc.). If you find a tick, it’s essential to remove it safely; this article has more information on how to do that.
It’s also a good idea to shower or bathe soon after returning indoors, as this can wash off any ticks or mosquitoes attached to your skin. If you realize you’ve been bitten by mosquitoes, there are a number of products that can treat the itching, such as:
● Antihistamine cream
● Baking soda and water
● Mint toothpaste
● Lemon juice and vinegar
Watch Out for Symptoms
If you end up getting bitten by a tick or mosquito, it’s imperative that you respond as soon as possible. It’s especially important to take proper precautions if your child is bitten by a tick. If you or anyone in your family notices strange symptoms in the days, weeks, or months following a bite, pay your doctor a visit immediately. Here are some symptoms to look out for:
● Flu symptoms (fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint aches)
● Bullseye rash
● Facial palsy
● Heart palpitations
● Shortness of breath
Likewise, some of the most common symptoms of mosquito-related illnesses include fever, headache, and fatigue. If you notice any of these symptoms following a mosquito bite, make an appointment to see your family physician as soon as possible.
Taking the proper steps to prevent tick and mosquito bites should be a top priority for every family in the warm months. Be sure to use EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors, and consider hiring a professional gardener to manicure your lawn. Also, wear long clothing, and always check your family members and pets for ticks and mosquitoes after being outside. Finally, be sure to seek medical attention if you start to experience any of the symptoms that can come from tick or mosquito-borne illnesses.
This article was written by our guest blogger, Carrie Spencer of The Spencers Adventures.
Bee America sells only natural honey and honey products, which contain no additives or artificial preservatives and we do our own extracting and bottling. Our family stands behind all of our products 100%. “We treat our customers like friends: we keep our promises to you, we care about your needs, and we are interested in your opinions and feedback.” For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!