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Experts Urge Caution as Mosquitoes and Ticks Return With a Vengeance
The National Pest Management Association shares essential tips to avoid mosquito and tick bites
FAIRFAX Va. – Although the atypical winter weather caused a slight delay to the start of pest season, several regions across the country are now reporting an increase in mosquito and tick activity. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is urging the public to take preventative measures against the health threats posed by these biting pests.
“People are itching to spend as much time outdoors as possible this spring and summer, thanks to the nasty weather conditions many of us experienced over the past six months,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “However, with increased outdoor activity comes the heightened risk of getting a mosquito or tick bite, which can lead to the transmission of vector-borne diseases – from West Nile virus and Lyme disease, to other less common illnesses like Chikungunya and Powassan virus.”
The NPMA recommends the following prevention tips to avoid the health threats associated with mosquitoes and ticks.
- Always apply an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors. Choose light colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
- Reduce the amount of time spent outside during dusk and dawn when certain types of mosquitoes are most active.
- Keep grass cut low, as ticks are found in high grass. Remove weeds, woodpiles and debris.
- Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes need only about a ½ inch of water to breed.
- Inspect yourself and your family members carefully for ticks after being outdoors.
- If you are concerned about ticks or mosquitoes on your property, contact a licensed pest professional.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit PestWorld.org.