WASHINGTON - Celebrate summer – but get ready to fight back against mosquitoes and ticks! Dr. Shilpi Agarwal, M.D. has the survival tips.
No Standing Water: Get rid of it! Standing water will become a breeding ground for mosquitoes! The pests can breed and lay eggs in as little as a bottle cap full of water. Check your gutters, potted plants, bird baths for any standing water – especially after heavy rains. If you find any, dump it out and wash it out with clean water. Then dry it.
Repellant: DEET is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. Dr. Agarwal says it is safe to use in low concentrations, like between 15% and about 30%. Higher levels should be avoided. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is an effective extract to use – just avoid touching your eyes after applying. Picaridin is also shown to protect from mosquitoes
***NOTE: Keep away from NATURAL products when looking for mosquito repellant. They might not contain the ingredients need to keep the bugs off of you.***
Turn On A Fan: Mosquitoes will avoid a windy area! Flip on a fan to keep the bugs off you when outside.
Lyme Disease & Powassan Virus: These are the infections that can be transmitted by ticks. Symptoms include fever, confusion, headaches – almost meningitis like symptoms. If you feel any of these symptoms after being bitten by a tick, see a doctor right away.
Do A Tick Check: Check yourself and your kids for ticks – especially the scalp area – when coming in from outdoors. If you do find a tick, use your tweezers to squeeze and pull it directly up and out. DO NOT twist or wiggle the tick – that just leaves the head and mouth in your skin! If you have any symptoms – like a bullseye rash or joint pain – see the doctor right away!