Spending time together outdoors is good for the whole family, but don’t let mosquito and tick bites ruin the fun. Most bug bites are harmless, but some mosquitoes and ticks spread germs that can make you sick. Some of these germs are very serious and may even be deadly.
- Mosquitoes spread viruses like Zika, West Nile, chikungunya, Eastern equine encephalitis and dengue.
- The Heartland Virus, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are just some of the serious diseases you can get from tick bites.
When you spend time outside, take these steps to protect yourself:
- Use insect repellent on your skin and clothing.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks to cover your skin.
- Check everyone for ticks after spending time outside.
- Take a shower within two hours after being outside to help wash away ticks.
- Put dry clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks.
Ticks also carry germs that can make pets sick. When pets bring ticks into the house, those ticks can bite you, too.
- Check your pets for ticks every day, especially after they've been outdoors. If you find a tick, remove it right away.
- Talk with your veterinarian about the best way to protect your pets from ticks. Ask your veterinarian before using any tick prevention products on your pets.