(BPT) – Warm weather means it’s time to get outside! As you channel your inner explorer, don’t forget that small, biting insects are also looking for adventure. Ticks can hitch a ride on skin and clothing when you least expect it, and mosquitoes are setting up home-base in your backyard. New data from the Centers for Disease Control reports cases of tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses have more than tripled since 2004, which is why it’s important to take steps to prevent bites from these bugs.
Whether your adventure is in your backyard, or across the country, RISE (Responsible Industry for Sound Environment) is sharing tips on how to stay bite-free:
For your adventures at home:
Seek and treat hiding spots.
Keep your grass mowed and trim shrubs around the perimeter of your home to reduce areas for ticks and mosquitoes to live. You can also treat your property, focusing on the areas that can harbor ticks and mosquitoes. Use an EPA-approved product available at your local home and garden center or hire a professional to do it for you.
Remove standing water.
Mosquitoes can breed in water trapped in containers as small as a bottle cap. Survey your home and yard for places mosquitoes could be hiding, such as puddles of accumulated rainwater or standing water in your bird bath.
Put up personal barriers.
Once you’ve applied sunscreen, use EPA-approved bug repellent on your exposed skin to keep ticks and mosquitoes away. Look for bug repellents with DEET, Picaridin, IR355 or other EPA-approved active ingredients recommended by the CDC as proven and effective. Re-apply both sunscreen and bug repellent according to label directions while outdoors.
For your adventures away:
Dress to protect.
Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug repellent for your adventures away from home, too! Dress in light-colored clothing and layer up with long sleeves, pants and tall socks to make it harder for ticks and mosquitoes to reach their target. Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks for an extra layer of tick prevention. Also consider EPA-approved permethrin-treated clothing, or treat your clothes at home according to label directions, as an extra step to ward off biters.
Don’t invite ticks on your adventure.
Ticks love to hide in tall grass and piles of leaves, brush and firewood. Out on the trails, avoid those hiding places by staying in the middle of the path.
Never miss a tick check.
After an adventure-filled day outdoors, be sure to check for ticks on your skin and clothing. Common hiding spots include around your ears, behind your knees, under your armpit and on your scalp. Be sure to give your pets a check too! Look in and behind their ears, under the collar and on their feet.
Protect yourself, your family and pets from nature’s most infamous, but uninvited, summer visitors with a little preparation and proactivity. Visit http://www.DebugtheMyths.com to learn more.