Ticks and Mosquitoes

Ticks: Prevention and Control

Limiting exposure to ticks reduces the likelihood of infection with tickborne diseases. In persons exposed to tick-infested habitats, prompt careful inspection and removal of crawling or attached ticks is an important method of preventing disease. It may take extended attachment time before organisms are transmitted from the tick to the host.

It is unreasonable to assume that a person can completely eliminate activities that may result in tick exposure. Therefore take the following precautions to protect yourself when exposed to natural areas where ticks are present:

  • Wear light-colored clothing which allows you to see ticks that are crawling on your clothing. Tuck your pants legs into your socks so that ticks cannot crawl up the inside of your pants legs.
  • Apply repellents to discourage tick attachment. Repellents containing permethrin can be sprayed on boots and clothing, and will last for several days. Repellents containing DEET (n, n-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to the skin, but will last only a few hours before reapplication is necessary. Use DEET with caution on children.
  • Conduct a body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas by searching your entire body for ticks. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Remove any tick you find on your body.

Check children for ticks, especially in the hair, when returning from potentially tick-infested areas. Ticks may also be carried into the household on clothing and pets and only attach later, so both should be examined carefully to exclude ticks. Read more from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/prevention.html

Measures to prevent bites from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other insects and arthropods:

To reduce the possibility of being bitten by insects or arthropods that can transmit diseases (vector-borne), such as malaria, dengue, and tickborne encephalitis (TBE), you should―

  • Use an insect repellent on exposed skin to repel mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other arthropods. EPA-registered repellents include products containing DEET (N,N-diethylmetatoluamide) and picaridin (KBR 3023). DEET concentrations of 30% to 50% are effective for several hours. Picaridin, available at 7% and 15 % concentrations, needs more frequent application.
  • DEET formulations as high as 50% are recommended for both adults and children over 2 months of age. Protect infants less than 2 months of age by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
  • When using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and then repellent. Repellent should be washed off at the end of the day before going to bed.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts which should be tucked in, long pants, and hats to cover exposed skin. When you visit areas with ticks and fleas, wear boots, not sandals, and tuck pants into socks.
  • Inspect your body and clothing for ticks during outdoor activity and at the end of the day. Wear light-colored or white clothing so ticks can be more easily seen. Removing ticks right away can prevent some infections.
  • Apply permethrin-containing (e.g., Permanone) or other insect repellents to clothing, shoes, tents, mosquito nets, and other gear for greater protection. Permethrin is not labeled for use directly on skin. Most repellent is generally removed from clothing and gear by a single washing, but permethrin-treated clothing is effective for up to 5 washings.
  • Be aware that mosquitoes that transmit malaria are most active during twilight periods (dawn and dusk or in the evening).
    • Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, and/ or sleep under an insecticide treated bed net. Bed nets should be tucked under mattresses and can be sprayed with a repellent if not already treated with an insecticide.

Read more from the CDC:http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/mosquito-tick.aspx

and the Environmental Protection Agency:  http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/health/mosquitoes/mosquito.htm

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