Summer’s Small Scoundrels: Fleas, Ticks and Insects


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — July is a popular time for lake days and camping trips, but this warmer weather is also a cause for the increase in mosquito and tick-borne diseases, like Heartland virus, Lyme disease, Zika, and dengue.  Below are some ways you can protect yourself this summer.

If you’re taking on the great outdoors this summer, bears and alligators should not be your greatest fear. It turns out the real villains are smaller than your fingernail. The CDC says the number of people getting diseases from ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas has tripled in recent years, and nine new germs have been discovered. So what can you do to protect yourself?

“If you know that you’re going to be in a wooded area, that you wear long pants, with socks to cover the pants, to prevent the tick from attaching and if you know you’re going to be outside, you should do a tick check that day. Lyme disease is not transmitted unless the tick is attached for at least 36 hours,” said Dr. Kathleen Townes at the North Shore Physicians Group.

Consider purchasing clothing and shoes that have been pretreated with insecticides and check your dogs after they were outside.

“Another thing that’s a good idea is to wear bug repellent that would hopefully…the bugs are less likely to attach to you,” Dr. Townes told Ivanhoe.

Vector control is the method used to eliminate creatures that transmit disease pathogens, and the most common type is mosquito control. The CDC states that 80 percent of vector control organizations lack critical prevention and control capacities. Contact your state or local public health agency to see if they are training vector control staff on the five core competencies.

Contributors to this news report include: Hayley Hudson, Producer; Katie Campbell, Assistant Producer; Jamison Koczan, Videographer and Editor.

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