Summer is the perfect time to do all those fun outdoor activities you have been anxiously waiting to do since the winter. Before you hit the outdoors to either to go hiking or do some gardening, you will want to make sure you are well protected from ticks. Ticks are small arachnids that require blood meals to complete their complex life cycles. Ticks can very dangerous because they transmit diseases to several hosts; diseases including Lyme disease, Heartland virus, and Q Fever. It’s important to take the right steps in protecting yourself from any kind of tick.
Ways To Prevent Ticks:
- Purchas the right bug repellent that is safe to use and will be effective for several hours while you’re outdoors.
- After you return you from the outdoors, make sure to inspect your entire body carefully for any ticks that may be stuck on your skin. For ticks to transmit Lyme Disease, they have to be attached to the skin for at least 36 hours to transmit Lyme disease.
- If you go hiking or spending time around a wooded area, make sure you wear long sleeves and long pants, socks, and boots (no open toe shoes).
- Ticks like tall grass, so try to keep your lawn short and well-maintained. Also, try to stay in sunny areas when outdoors, that will reduce tick exposure.
- Ticks can easily make connect with your pets while they are outside, make sure you inspect pets once they come back inside and remove any ticks you find with a pair of tweezers.
There has been a rise in a recent virus that spreads to people mainly after they have been bitten by an infected Aedes species mosquito. The Zika Virus is in the same family of other viruses like West Nile, Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Japanese Encephalitis. This virus has been reported in Africa, the United States, Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Many towns throughout Massachusetts are under warming for traces of West Nile Virus being found in Mosquitoes. First it was only found in bird-biting mosquitoes but new news is out that West Nile, or EEE, is now being found in mammal-biting mosquitoes, posing a significant threat to humans. Many communities in Massachusetts are being sprayed to try to kill off the mosquitoes but you should still take measures to protect yourself by bombing your lawn and always carrying bug spray with you incase mosquitoes get bad. Make sure to look up the symptoms for West Nile and be as educated as possible while trying to keep you and your family safe!