Fight the Bite - Mosquito and Tick Bite Prevention and Protection
Although the weather hasn’t seemed to catch up to the calendar, today is officially the start of the summer season. Summertime means family vacations, outdoor picnics, summer camp and more—but, unfortunately, it also creates favorable conditions for other summer “staples” like mosquitos and ticks. As warm weather approaches each year, the Village works closely with the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) to control insect populations and limit your possible exposure to insect-borne illnesses; however, we still encourage you to take the following steps to “Fight the Bite” to keep your family and our community safe this summer.
As you likely know already, mosquitos and ticks can both transmit dangerous diseases through their bites. The most common mosquito-borne diseases in the Midwest are the West Nile and Zika viruses, while ticks can transmit Lyme Disease. All three diseases can be deadly, but all three are also preventable. The easiest way to protect yourself and your family from mosquito and tick bites is to remember the Three Rs: remove, repel and repair:
- Remove any opportunities for mosquitos and ticks to breed outside your home. During warm weather, mosquitos can develop in standing water that is left for seven to 10 days. Make sure to dump water that is collecting outside in buckets, flower pots, kiddie pools, pet bowls and more. To prevent ticks from breeding in dark, shady areas in your yard, remove leaf and yard waste piles and trim your grass, brush and shrubs.
- Repel mosquitos and ticks by using insect repellant when enjoying the outdoors, and make sure to wear appropriate protective clothing. Check to which insect repellants are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered, and don’t forget to reapply repellant during regular intervals. When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce your exposure.
- Repair door screens, windows and other openings that small insects can fit through.
Even if you follow these steps, it’s not always possible to avoid getting bit. If you’ve been bit (or think you’ve been bit) and experience any of the following symptoms, please see your doctor immediately:
- Head and muscle aches
- Rashes (Lyme rashes can often look like a “bull’s eye”)
With that being said, a majority of those infected may not show symptoms, so please be cautious!
One last reminder – as a lot of us (my family included) have pets, don’t forget to check your animals for insects and insect bites after going outside. These diseases can be deadly for dogs and cats as well, so see your veterinarian right away if you suspect that your pet has been bitten.
Let’s keep summertime in Glencoe fun and bite-free!
For more information and additional resources, please visit the Cook County Department of Public Health’s “Fight the Bite” and the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District websites.