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public domain mark image by James Gathany
As we enjoy the outdoors, it's important to remember to protect ourselves from mosquitoes and ticks that may spread the viruses or bacteria that cause serious illness such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or chikungunya.

Along with the continued risk of contracting diseases already established in the U.S., newly-identified vector-borne diseases and expanding geographical regions of transmission highlight the importance of protecting yourself, whether you travel into your backyard or abroad.

Fortunately, we can all take steps such as:
  • use an effective insect repellent on skin and clothing
  • wear long sleeves and long pants (when it's not too hot)
  • take care of our yards to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs
  • reduce brush, tall grasses, leaf litter, and harborage where ticks may like to hang out
Specific types of viruses and bacteria transmitted in this manner are described on the CDC Division of Vector-Borne Diseases website.

The CDC also provides educational information on approved repellents and other methods for preventing tick and mosquito bites.

OH&S Safety Short: Fight the Bite