7 Ways to Prevent Tick and Mosquito Bites

Tick – parasitic arachnid blood-sucking carrier of various diseases

Summertime and the living is… not so easy when you’re dealing with pesky ticks and mosquitos.  As of May 2018, the Center for Disease Control and the National Pest Management Association have both issued alerts that tick and mosquito-borne illnesses are on the rise. According to a new study published by the CDC, disease cases from mosquito, tick and flea bites tripled in the United States from 2004 to 2016.

But hold off before throwing away your hammock or tossing your softball glove in the trash. You won’t have to stay inside all summer as long as you take the proper precautions to protect yourself and your family from these pests.

So what can you do to keep these bloodsuckers from biting?

  • Be sure to use an insect repellent whenever you’ll be spending time outdoors. The NPMA recommends an EPA-approved repellent that contains at least 20% DEET, or has picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. In order for it to be effective, spray it on after  sunscreen is used.
  • Eliminate any potential mosquito breeding grounds. Mosquitos only need a half-inch of standing water to breed (even something the size of a bottle cap could attract them). Keep stagnant water out of flower pots, baby pools, buckets, tires, toys, and other objects around your property.
  • Keep your yard well-groomed to help prevent ticks. Cut grass low and remove weeds and debris, and keep shrubbery trimmed. Ticks hang out in the “fringes.” These are the buffer areas between the manicured lawn and woods.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Long pants and sleeves can limit exposure to insect bites, and consider tying back hair or keeping it under a hat. Try wearing light colored clothing, as it can be easier to spot any ticks hitching a ride home with you.
  • Avoid walking through tall grass, as this is a preferred “ambush” spot for fleas and ticks.
  • Screen all windows and doors, and patch any holes or tears– even tiny ones!
  • Inspect yourself, your pets, and your family members carefully for ticks after spending time outside. Be on the lookout for the telltale red bullseye rash around a bite.

If you find a tick:

  • Remove it with a slow, steady pull, making sure to completely remove all mouthparts from the skin.
  • Wash your hands and the bite with soap and warm water.
  • Wrap the tick tightly in tissue and flush it down the toilet or discard.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor or seek medical attention to ensure the bite won’t make you sick.

As always, if you have concerns about a flea, tick, or mosquito problem on your property, feel free to give Graduate a call. We’ll make sure your summer stays carefree (and pest-free)!

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