It’s Mosquito & Tick Season
Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors, especially if you’ve been cooped up inside due to COVID-19 precautions.
Be smart before venturing outside without protection from mosquito and ticks.
The Rhode Island Department of Health recommends:
• Using bug spray with at least 20% DEET (but not more than 30%) directly on skin (not for use on children under 3 years of age)
• Wearing light colored clothing pre-treated with permethrin insecticide
• Tucking pants into socks
Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, Zika Virus Infection, and more. Preventing you and your family from getting bitten is the most effective way to avoid contracting any of these diseases.
You can also take steps to control mosquitoes both indoors and out:
• Repair holes in screens on windows and door
• Empty and scrub items that hold water such as birdbaths, toys, small pools, flowerpots, gutters, and trash containers
• Get rid of anything around your house and yard that collects water. One cup of water can become a breeding ground, producing thousands of mosquitoes!
• Mosquito bites go away on their own but Calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream can help ease the itch. Call your Brown Medicine physician if you experience symptoms such as but not limited to fever, headache, body aches, stiff neck, vomiting, or nausea
Ticks are most active from now through September when it’s warm. They live in grassy, brushy or wooded areas. Spending time outside walking your dog, gardening or camping can bring you in close contact with these pests. Pesticides can reduce the number of ticks in treated areas of your yard, but don’t rely on spraying alone to reduce your risk of infection.
Some ticks carry pathogens that cause disease, including babesiosis and Lyme disease. The most common symptoms of tick-related illness are fever and chills, aches and fatigue, and rash. Some symptoms can be treated at home, but severe infections require a physician’s diagnosis and can lead to hospitalization.
For tick prevention:
• Remove leaf litter
• Clear tall grasses and brush around your home and at the edge of lawns
• Place a 3-foot wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration
• Mow the lawn frequently
• Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges and trees
• Remove old furniture or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide