The weather outside has warmed up in most parts of the country and the higher temperatures are bringing the bugs out. With the return of mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas comes the threat of potential illness.
A new warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions that illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled in the United States. From 2004 through 2016, over 640,000 cases were reported and nine new germs spread by ticks and mosquitoes were discovered or introduced into the United States during that time, the CDC said in a statement. In 2016 alone there were 96,075 reported disease cases from infected mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.
“The data show that we’re seeing a steady increase and spread of tickborne diseases, and an accelerating trend of mosquito-borne diseases introduced from other parts of the world,” said Lyle Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. “We need to support state and local health agencies responsible for detecting and responding to these diseases and controlling the mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas that spread them.”
To protect yourself from these insects and the potential diseases they carry, the CDC recommends:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Treat boots, pants, socks and tents with permethrin or use permethrin-treated clothing and gear
- Use flea and tick control products with your pets
- Take steps to control mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas inside and outside your home
- Find and remove ticks daily from family and pets
- Use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellant