Environmental Health Specialist
Spring rains and warming weather brings forth the much anticipated flowers and greenery. Along with the beauty of spring comes the less desirable bloom of the biting inspects. Mosquitoes and ticks are not only a nuisance, but they can also make people seriously ill.
The Yadkin County Environmental Health Department encourages residents to take several steps to prevent insects from biting them and to reduce insect breeding conditions around the home.
Simple steps, like keeping the grass near your home trimmed and removing plants that attract wildlife, like deer and rodents that carry ticks will help to prevent high tick numbers. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so pay close attention to things like bird baths, old tires, buckets, planters, and other items that may collect and hold water.
To avoid mosquitoes and ticks during outings, dress appropriately and use an approved insect repellent. Repellents, when used properly, are an effective way to fight the bite.
Always pay attention to the directions when applying insect repellents. Some sprays containing permethrin are meant for clothing only and should not be applied to the skin. Other sprays are only for children over the age of three. Only use repellents that contain chemicals that are approved by the Centers for Disease Control.
Wear long sleeves, pants, and socks when in areas that are known to have ticks and mosquitoes.
If a tick does become attached, proper and prompt removal is the key to fighting infection. Use fine- tipped tweezers to remove attached ticks, getting as far forward near the head as possible and pulling steadily.
Note the day you removed the tick on a calendar. If you become ill in the next two weeks or develop a skin rash within a month of the tick bite, tell your physician the date and time that you removed the tick.
For information on ticks, mosquitoes, or other environmental health issues, please contact your local Yadkin County Environmental Health office at 336-679-4244.