Summer marks the peak of tick and mosquito season in Central PA.
It is important to remember that these bugs can spread illness. Specifically:
- tick bites can cause Lyme Disease;
- mosquito bites can cause West Nile virus infection or transmit the Zika virus.
Both illnesses can result in long-term health problems and severe West Nile Virus illness can even be fatal. Those who work or spend a lot of time outdoors are more likely to get bitten by a tick or mosquitoand possibly infected with Lyme Disease or West Nile Virus. CRPR encourages you to “Fight the Bite” while enjoying the outdoors this summer. Avoiding tick and mosquito bites is the best way to protect you and your family from Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus. Here are some simple tips to “Fight the Bite.”
Protect yourself before heading outdoors:
Wear insect repellant on exposed skin when outdoors. The insect repellant should contain one of the following ingredients:
DEET (20% or higher)
Oil of Eucalyptus / PMD
* Always follow label directions closely especially for children.
- Spray clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent.Don't apply this type of repellent directly to skin or under clothing.
- When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Tuck pants into socks and shirts in pants.
- Wear light-colored clothing, so ticks are easier to spot.
Avoid direct contact with ticks and mosquitos:
- Walk in the center of trails.
- Try to avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Be aware that peak biting hours for most mosquitos are from dusk to dawn. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and
early morning -- or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
Find and remove ticks after being outdoors:
- Shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within 2 hours).
- Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body.Check for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly
button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in hair.
- Remove any attached ticks as soon as possible (See figure below)
- Examine gear and tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining
- Check your pets, since they can bring ticks into your home. Also, discuss use of a tick
preventative product for your dog with their vet. Call your doctor if you experience fever or rash. Anyone experiencing symptoms of severe West Nile
Virus, which includes fever, headache, neck stiffness, and/or disorientation, should seek medical
For information on selecting an insect repellant, visit:
Visit the following websites for more Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus prevention information.