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Ticks and mosquitoes

Beware of ticks and mosquitos if you go into a wooded area, or an area of tall grass. It’s wise to wear long pants, socks and closed shoes and use insect spray with DEET or Permethrin.

When you come inside, look yourself over carefully. Shake out your clothes over the bathtub, so if a tick is clinging to your clothing it won’t eventually find you. You can put items such as sleeping bags into the dryer on high for an hour and kill any ticks hidden inside.

If you find a tick on yourself, remove it immediately. The longer it stays latched onto you, the more likely you could get disease from it. If a tick has hooked on and you need to pull it out, be sure to get it all – sometimes when you try to remove a tick, it will break off and leave part of it in your skin. You may want to ask someone to help you look to see that you got it all.

If a tick with Lyme’s Disease or with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever bites you, the site will become warm and slightly tender, and will develop a red rash in a bull eye pattern around the bite. You may develop a fever, chills, muscle ache, headache and fatigue. Severe and/or untreated cases may develop paralysis.

Besides causing you to itch, mosquito bites can infect you with dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus. Persons over age 50 are at increased risk of developing the severe form of West Nile.

To avoid both mosquito and tick bites, be sure to use bug repellant with DEET or Permethrin, and wear long sleeves and long pants when going outside in grassy or wooded areas.

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