Bug safety is an important element of summer fun. Without it we are at risk of debilitating diseases like lyme disease and west nile virus. Take this opportunity to learn more about mosquitos and ticks, the diseseases they spread and how you can protect yourself and your family.
There are over 200 types of mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, only some of those, about 12 types, can spread germs such as viruses or parasites to people and animals. Most mosquitos are considered a nuisance and do not spread disease. Even so, it is important to protect yourself and your animals. Without a doubt, the most common mosquito borne illness in the US is West Nile virus.
Of the seven species of ticks found in the continental United States, four are found in here in Kentucky. Like Mosquitos, ticks can spread disease to both animals and humans. In particular, ticks spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever, Tularemia, Lyme Disease, Relapsing Fever, Babesiosis, Powassan virus, Ehrlichiosis, Heartland virus, and STARI. Of those, Lyme Disease is the most commonly diagnosed with an average of nearly 37 thousand cases annually. For more information on these illnesses please visit the CDC’s website. Click here.
How to protect
Prevent bug bites
Protect your pets and animals
Prevent ticks and mosquitos in your yard
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents
- Treat clothing and gear
- After coming indoors check your clothing for ticks
- Examine your gear
- Shower soon after being outdoors
- Check your body for ticks after being outdoors
- Talk to you veterinarian about the best tick prevention products for your dogs and cats
- Consult with your veterinarian about preventing disease carrying bug bites in livestock
- Check your pets daily for ticks
- Apply pesticides in your yard to prevent ticks
- Mow lawn frequently and remove leaf litter that may provide hiding places for ticks
- Eliminate standing water in and around your yard to prevent mosquito breeding habitats
- If mosquitoes are prolific in your area use an outdoor adulticide to kill adult mosquitoes and larvicides to treat large bodies of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped