Summer in the Midwest comes along with insect pests, including some that can be potentially dangerous. Here are some guidelines to help prevent mosquito and tick bites.
Mosquito bite prevention
We’ve heard a lot about mosquitoes and the viruses they can spread, including Zika, West Nile, chikungunya and Dengue, in the news lately. It’s important to protect yourself and your employees from mosquito bites. Here are some helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent as directed. When used as directed, EPA-registered repellents are safe and effective. Reapply repellent every few hours, as directed. The CDC recommends repellants containing the following active ingredients: DEET (Brands include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, Ultrathon); Picaridin, also known as KBR 3023; Bayrepel and icaridin (Brands include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus); oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) (Brands include Repel); IR3535 (Brands include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition, SkinSmart).
- Wear long sleeves and pants.
- Treat clothing with a product containing permethrin, which can last through several washings. Do not use a permethrin product directly on your skin.
- To protect young children, cover cribs, stroller or baby carriers with mosquito netting. Follow directions carefully for using insect repellent on children under three years of age.
- Mosquito-proof your home by using screens on windows and doors. Eliminate standing water near your home where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
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Tick bite prevention
Ticks live in moist, humid environments, especially in wooded or grassy areas. Ticks can transmit several disease, including as Lyme disease, Tularemia or Rocky-Mountain spotted fever. Reduce your chances of getting bit by taking the following steps:
- Before going outdoors, apply a repellent containing DEET on skin, following product instructions. Treat clothing, boots and camping gear with permethrin.
- After coming indoors, check your clothing for ticks, and remove any that are found. Shower within two hours, and check your body for ticks, using a mirror for hard-to-see areas. For information on how to safely remove a tick, visit www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html.
- To reduce ticks, remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around building.
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