Mosquitoes and Ticks Are No Fun!
Mosquitoes and ticks are no fun! But, we don't have to poison our property, kill off butterflies and beneficial insects, put our pet's health at risk, and leave toxic chemical residues all over lawn furniture and children's outdoor play toys.
Spray insect repellent on your clothes and exposed skin—but not your face—before stepping outdoors. I found two DEET-free products that I like, 'Wildthings Bug Spray; and, a lemon-eucalyptus bug spray called 'Repel' (CDC confirms the efficacy of EPA-registered lemon-eucalyptus products). Both are available online, work well and smell lovely. If you use a DEET product, keep it to at or below 20% DEET , as recommended by CDC. For all insecticidal products always follow label instructions; do not apply to young children if the label warns against it.
We should also try the following prevention and avoidance techniques:
- Install or fix window and door screens so mosquitoes can’t enter your home.
- Cover up when possible by wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants.
- Drain standing water from birdbaths, kiddie pools, storm-drain catchments, and other places where it can collect.
- Ward off deer ticks during a hike by tucking pant cuffs into long socks.
- Wear light-colored outdoor clothing so you can better spot dark deer ticks.
- Check yourself for ticks when you return from outdoors.
- Remove an attached tick using fine-tipped tweezers, grasping the tick as close to your skin's surface as possible (see CDC instructions). Then clean your skin and hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. (CDC generally does not recommend saving the tick for testing)
- In the shower, use a washcloth or loofah from head to toe to brush away any unattached ticks that may be on your body.
If you feel the need to spray your outdoor areas, use the Beyond Pesticides website to Find a Service Provider that will provide non-toxic or least-toxic pest control.
The CDC has excellent information on detecting and treating tick borne diseases including Lyme Disease. If you develop suspicious medical symptoms, seek immediate professional medical treatment to safeguard your health—and that of others in your area (see CDC recommendations).