7 Ways to Avoid Bug Bites

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Battle plan

The best way to stop the spread of vector-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito and tick bites in the first place. Follow these tips to prevent insects from setting up camp around your yard.

  1. Don’t let skeeters multiply

Remove outside sources of standing water that provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes, such as birdbaths, planters, and pet bowls.

  1. Don’t let the bugs inside

Repair window screens and door screens so that mosquitoes can’t get inside your house.

  1. Keep your lawn tidy

Keep your yard free from piles of leaves, where ticks like to hide in wait of a meal, and mow the lawn often.

  1. Stick to the trails

Avoid wooded, brushy, or grassy areas that may be tick-infested.

  1. Be smart about what you wear

During outdoor activities, wear light-colored clothing so you can easily see and remove ticks and other insects. Wear long sleeves and long pants, tucking pant legs into your socks or shoes to cover skin. A hat helps, too.

  1. Spray on repellent

Use an insect repellent on your skin or clothing. Repellents recommended for their effectiveness include those containing 15 percent to 30 percent deet, 20 percent picaridin, and 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus.. Avoid clip-on and wristband devices, which are not as effective as spray-on or rub-on products. Avoid high-concentration deet products because they can cause neurological problems.

  1. Check yourself—and Fido, too

Check your clothing and skin for ticks when you return indoors. Check pets, too.