Reduce Your Risk of Disease from Ticks, Mosquitoes, and Fleas
Organisms that can transmit diseases to people are called vectors. The best known or most notorious vectors are ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas.
After a wet winter, pest populations typically spike. Spring and summer arrive, people spend more time outdoors and therefore put themselves at risk for vector-transmitted disease. Given that some of these diseases can be fatal, it is important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.
Unfortunately, mosquitoes are present almost everywhere. Fleas tend to be in or around homes with pets. Fire ants have certainly played a role in reducing tick numbers, but ticks are still present in native areas and gardens.
Disease from Ticks, Mosquitoes, and Fleas
The National Pest Management Association urges the public to take precautions against the health threats posed by an influx in these biting pests.
How Do You Reduce Your Risk?
- Yard Maintenance
Keep your landscape well maintained with grass cut low. Ensure woodpiles and composting areas are kept well away from your home and common access areas. Clear or trim vegetation so that it is not in direct contact with your home. Lawn care goes a long way in decreasing pest populations in and around your property.
- Eliminate Standing Water
Eliminate untreated standing water and look out for overly wet areas, including moist vegetation such as mulch or leaf piles. Perform regular pool maintenance to include skimming off leaves and insects, brushing sediment from the sides, vacuuming your pool, and cleaning skimmers. Prevent pests in gutters from causing clogs, structure damage, and getting inside your home. We recommend gutter cleaning in March and September.
- Cover Up with Clothing and Repellent
If possible, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes when outdoors. And if you are in native areas or areas where you know ticks or fleas are present, tuck your pants into long socks. There are several insect repellent products on the market that are effective at making you less attractive to these pests.
- Physical Inspection
After being outside (and especially in a green belt or native area), inspect yourself, family members, and pets for ticks, and properly remove them to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission. Be sure to search through shoes, socks, and pants for tiny crawling pests. Look for mosquito bites as well and treat them appropriately.
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