As we battle the COVID-19 Bug, we're now hearing about the gigantic "Murder Hornets" coming over from Japan.   Relax.  No sign of them around here, but as spring gets into full swing, expect to add more bugs to your watch list:  Ticks and Mosquitoes.
The Calhoun County Health Department sent out some info on the subject on Thursday.
We are all enjoying the warmer spring weather and sunshine brightening our park paths, nature trails, and even our back patios.  Along with warm spring breezes and sunshine come ticks and mosquitoes. Ticks and mosquitoes are what’s referred to as vectors, a term which means they can transfer dangerous diseases and illness to people through their bites. Remember the EEO problem last Fall?
The health department says it's no reason to stay cooped up inside – use the tips below to stay outside and stay safe from tick and mosquito bites and illnesses.
  • Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Limit outdoor activity during these times.
  • Mosquitoes and ticks prefer shady, moist areas in wooded and grassy locations. When in areas that may be home to these pests, it is recommended to try and stay on well-groomed trails; wear light colored clothing so ticks may be easily spotted.
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, OLE, IR3535, or 2-undecanone to keep both at bay. Do not use insect repellant on babies less than 2 months old. Products containing OLE or para-methane-doil (PMD) should not be used on children under 3 years of age. Consult your veterinarian for tick control products appropriate to your pet’s species and weight.
  • Install and repair screens on doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of your living spaces.
  • Get rid of any standing water in your yard. Emptying children’s wading pools, flower pots, buckets, barrels, and the like. Drill holes in tire swings to allow for drainage. And make sure to change out the water in bird baths and pet dishes weekly. This eliminates spaces for mosquitoes to lay eggs.
  • It is important to carefully check for ticks after outdoor activities. Ticks can hide anywhere on the body, but particularly enjoy creases like armpits, knees, scalps, and groins. If you find a tick, prompt removal is the best method to decrease the chance of infection.
  • Use a fine-tipped tweezer to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. The tick should be pulled straight up and out avoiding any twisting or jerking of the tick to keep from mouth pieces being left in the skin. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Note that tick removal is NOT aided by touching the tick with a burnt match or covering the tick with petroleum jelly.