Resources: Tips for Healthy Aging at Hebrew SeniorLife

How to Prevent Tick and Mosquito Bite

Summer is in the Air! And so are ticks, mosquitoes, and other critters. We want you to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors. To prevent unwanted pests from taking a bite out of your fun, we offer the following tips:

  • Wear shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when you go outside. Keep ticks away from your skin by tucking your pants into your socks.
  • Wear light colors so you can spot any ticks that get on your clothes.
  • Use bug spray to keep ticks away. Ask your doctor about best products
  • Stay inside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
  • Drain areas of standing water near your home.
  • Keep foods and drinks covered when you are outside
  • If you see a stinging insect, stay calm and slowly back away
  • Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Be sure to check your scalp, waist, armpits, groin, and backs of your knees.

There is a high prevalence of Lyme disease in New England; however Lyme disease is less likely to be transmitted if the tick has been on the person for less than 72 hours. Checking for ticks after each walking venture is very important.

If you should get bitten by a tick, do not panic!

  1. Use tweezers to grab the head of the tick and pull straight up with even pressure, slowly and gently.  Do NOT try to burn it off or apply Vaseline. 
  2. Wash the area gently with soap and water afterwards.
  3. Watch the area for any rash and contact your primary care provider if one should occur.
  4. When needed, apply anti-itch cream such as an over-the counter hydrocortisone cream.

Indications to call 911 after insect bites, as these are signs of a severe reaction: Sudden difficulty in breathing/wheezing (hearing a whistling sound when you breathe); sudden rapid swelling, especially around the face, eyelids, ears, mouth, hands, or feet; develop belly cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea shortly after the sting; feel dizzy or pass out.

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