Healthy Communities

Prevent Mosquito and Tick Diseases

Prevention is your best defense from becoming infected with a mosquito or tickborne disease.  Preventing insect bites reduces your risk of getting West Nile Virus (WNV), Tickborne Diseases (TBD) or other diseases that insects carry. 

Steps you can take to reduce your risk of infection.

Avoid Contact

Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times. Avoid tick-infested areas such as tall grass and dense vegetation. Check yourself, your children and pets often for ticks.  Bathe or shower within two hours after being where ticks live to find and wash off ticks that may be crawling on you.

Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning, or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times. Install or repair window and door screens so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors.

Protective Clothing

When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Tuck your pants into sock tops or boots and wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to find crawling ticks. 

Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing. Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.

Drain Standing Water

Reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas outdoors where you work or play, by draining sources of standing water. In this way, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed.

Insect Repellents

Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those with DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Even a short time being outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. Think of repellent as you would an important article of clothing, and increase your chances of avoiding weeks (or even months) of aches and fatigue that come with West Nile Virus (WNV), Tickborne Diseases (TBD),or other insect borne diseases.

Of the active ingredients registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), two have shown to work better and give longer-lasting protection than others:

Products containing these next two active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection:

Protect children

Certain products that contain permethrin can be used on clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear.  Permethrin is highly effective as an insecticide and as a repellent. Permethrin-treated clothing repels and kills ticks, mosquitoes and other insects and retains this effect after repeated laundering. Reapply permethrin insecticide according to the label instructions. Some commercial products are available pretreated with permethrin. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.

Use repellents safely

Preventing Ticks in your Yard

You can reduce tick populations in your yard by:

For more information, see the CDC's guidelines or EPA guidelines

You may also visit our Tickborne Disease in Arkansas page on this website.

 

Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
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