News Flash

Health Department

Posted on: June 15, 2018

Tip and Toss Could Reduce Local Mosquito and Tick Breeding

WILKESBORO — Mosquito-and tick-borne diseases are most commonly acquired from June to September, but residents of Wilkes county can “tip and toss” to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of mosquito and tick bites.

Infections from ticks and mosquitoes are common in North Carolina. In 2016, 1,007 (833 tick borne and 174 mosquito borne) cases of domestically acquired and travel-associated tick-and-mosquito-borne diseases were reported including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, lyme disease, LaCrosse encephalitis and West Nile virus.

 “Ticks and mosquitoes are common, but we can take measures to limit the risk of being bitten and contracting a tick-or mosquito-borne infection,” Wilkes Health Director of Allied Health Services, Rachel Willard said. “We can use the ‘tip and toss’ practices to protect ourselves and our neighbors from tick and mosquito bites this summer.”

Basic control measures include reducing habitat for the pests and reducing exposure to them.

Tip and Toss:

  • Reduce mosquito breeding opportunities by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Be sure to tightly secure screens on all openings on rain barrels used for water conservation.
  • Clean up any trash or leaves that may be around your home or in rain gutters.

Reduce exposure and use preventive measures:

  • Avoid tick habitats, which include wooded, grassy or brushy areas.
  • Use tick and mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) on exposed skin, and wear clothing treated with permethrin, a synthetic insecticide used against disease carrying insects.
  • If you find a tick attached to your body, carefully remove it by grasping the tick with fine-tipped tweezers as close as possible to your skin and apply a steady gentle pull until it releases.
  • Reduce tick habitat on your property by mowing frequently and keeping your yard clear of old furniture and debris.
  • Mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside, and use air conditioning if you have it.

For more information on preventing tick-and mosquito-borne illnesses visit http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/vector.html.

For additional information about Wilkes Health, call 336.651.7450

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