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You should always be alert for insects, especially when spending time outdoors. Insects such as ticks and mosquitoes are known to carry diseases. To protect yourself and others, follow these tips:

  • Wear a light-colored long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and a hat.
  • Secure your clothes with rubber bands or tape to prevent insects from getting underneath them.
  • Avoid underbrush and tall grass when hiking.
  • Use an insect repellent and follow the directions for use. Be sure to read cautionary statements on label.
  • After being outdoors for a long period, inspect yourself for ticks or have someone else do it. Shower immediately after coming indoors.
  • If you find a tick, remove it by pulling steadily and firmly. Grasp the tick with a fine-tipped tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pull slowly. Wash area and apply antiseptic or antibiotic ointment. Watch area for infection. See a physician if you see signs of a rash in that area.
  • If you have pets that go outdoors, use a repellent made for that type of pet and apply according to the label. Be sure to check your pet for ticks often.
  • If you are stung, use a credit card to sweep away the stinger.
  • A yellow jacket may have been rooting around in your garbage can before stinging you; properly treat the sting, even if it doesn’t hurt, as a secondary infection may develop.

Protect your Pets

  • Remove all sources of stagnant water around your home where mosquitoes might breed.
  • Your pets should be kept inside during peak mosquito feeding times (dawn and dusk).
  • Contact your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pets' health.
  • Use of mosquito resistant structures such as well-maintained insect screening and fans may reduce mosquitoes' access to equine and other livestock hosts.
  • Insect repellents approved for use on horses may be of some value in decreasing exposure; however, there are restraints due to limited duration of effectiveness of some formulations under certain conditions (e.g. rain, perspiration).
  • Horse owners are encouraged to contact their veterinarian immediately should they notice any signs or symptoms of Encephalitis infection in horses, especially those exhibiting neurological signs.

 Pesticides in your Home
A nationwide study conducted by the EPA revealed that almost half of surveyed households with children under the age of five had at least one pesticide stored within their reach. 

The basic steps in reducing pesticide risks are:
  • Choosing the right pesticide product.
  • Reading the product label.

DANGER means poisonous or corrosive.
WARNING means moderately hazardous.
CAUTION means least hazardous.

  • Determining the right amount to purchase and use.
  • Using the product safely and correctly.
  • Storing pesticides in a locked cabinet out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposing of pesticides properly. Do not pour leftover pesticides down the sink, into the toilet or down a sewer or street drain. 

IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, try to determine what the person was exposed to and what part of the body was affected before you take action, since taking the right action is as important as taking immediate action. If the person is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or having convulsions, give needed first aid immediately.

Call 9-1-1. If the person does not have these symptoms, contact your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Have the product container with you when you call for assistance. Remember to act fast! 

A closeup photo of a mosquito on a person's skin.
 Did you know that these common household products are pesticides?
  • Cockroach sprays and baits.
  • Insect sprays and wasp repellents for indoor use.
  • Insect repellents for personal use.
  • Termite control products.
  • Rat and other rodent poisons.
  • Flea and tick sprays, powders, and pet collars.
  • Kitchen, laundry, and bath disinfectants and sanitizers, including bleach.
  • Products to kill mold and mildew.
  • Lawn and garden products such as weed killers.
  • Swimming pool chemicals.
  • Repellents that keep deer, raccoons, or rabbits away from your garden.
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