How to Stay Safe from Pests this Summer

The CDC released a report detailing how illnesses caused by tick and mosquito bites have tripled since 2004. Summertime can be a dangerous season for insect bites. Test Smartly Labs recommends following these steps to keep you and your family safe from vector-borne diseases this summer:

What Are Vector-Borne Diseases?

According to the CDC, vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by insects capable of passing on pathogens, such as parasites, viruses, or bacteria. When a tick or mosquito bites you, it can transmit these pathogens and cause illnesses like West Nile virus, Lyme disease, and Zika virus, for example. Bites from ticks and mosquitos are more than just a summertime irritant. The diseases these insects pass along can have very serious consequences, such as headaches, fevers, rashes, and bed confinement. Not a great way to spend the summer!

Protect Your Family from Insect Bites

Take protective measures this summer to ensure you and your family stay safe from vector-borne diseases. We recommend that you:

Be Proactive

When you go out this summer, use an EPA-approved bug repellant on your clothes and skin to keep mosquitos and ticks away. Wear bright clothing to make it easier to see ticks. If you’re going camping this summer, spray your gear with repellant as you would your clothing to keep yourself safe at night. Keep mosquitos and ticks away from your skin by wearing long pants, sleeves, and socks if you’re going to be walking through the woods or another heavy-bug area.

Be Aware of Your Location

Ticks love to drop down on unsuspecting hikers from trees, so if you are walking through the woods, stick to the middle of the path, away from overhanging trees if possible. If you know you’ll be camping or vacationing near a body of water, double your mosquito-protection efforts. Mosquitos love warm, humid air and tend to congregate around standing water like lakes – they breed in the water!

React Quickly

Immediately after you finish enjoying your outdoor activities, check for ticks. Take a shower within 2 hours of leaving a tick-infested area to improve your chances of avoiding disease. Check for ticks under your arms, around your ears, navel, and waist, behind your knees, and in your hair. If you happen to find a tick, remove it with tweezers right away! Pull it steadily off – no twisting or jerking. Dispose of the tick in rubbing alcohol, and wash the bite and your hands with soap and water.

Test Smartly Labs provides testing for individuals as well as screening for more major health risks. Contact Test Smartly Labs or call (816) 800-9699 today to make an appointment at any of our five KC-metro locations!

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