It’s August, which is prime time for outdoor summer fun. Unfortunately, it’s also prime time for creepy-crawly bugs that want to feed on your blood.
While you’re outside enjoying nature and posing for your perfect Instagram post, you'll need to protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
with ticks: The biggest risk here is Lyme disease, and it’s no joke. It can cause fatigue, rashes and headaches and even spread to your nervous system if left untreated. To avoid it, wear insect repellant when you spend lots of time outside, especially if you’re in the woods or in a field. Wear light-colored clothing and socks so that you can see a tick if one gets on you.
Check your body for ticks when you come inside, and be thorough. If you find one, don’t freak out: Carefully remove the tick with tweezers using these instructions and talk to your doctor if you have a rash, fever or concerns.
Now for mosquitoes: Most people are very familiar with them, as they’ve bothered us at every summer barbecue ever. Mosquitoes carry diseases like West Nile virus, Zika, dengue and malaria, none of which you want to have. Before you head outside, put on insect repellent and do your best to wear long clothing that covers your arms and legs.
If you’re traveling outside the U.S., be sure to use mosquito bite prevention, as mosquitoes in certain areas of the world may be more likely to carry harmful diseases. Use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel guide to check risks at your destination.
Have a safe and bite-free summer!
Photo courtesy Lauren Bishop/CDC