Just as tick bites are expected to be a bigger problem this summer, mosquito bites will be a similar problem. Just like ticks, mosquito populations are larger and coming earlier—and to complicate both tick and mosquito bites the range for transmitted diseases spreads a little each year, and ticks in particular are being recorded as carrying more diseases than ever before—at least one in four carries lyme disease, and many ticks carry multiple diseases.
Although lyme disease is most common in the east, every part of the continental US has some mosquito or tick bite illness to be concerned about!
State governments are raising awareness this week about how people can prevent mosquito bites, as well as symptoms for diseases like West Nile Virus.
Natural Mosquito Repellant
Prevention is always the best policy—if you want to avoid mosquito bites, start by fortifying against a mosquito home invasion:
- Mosquitoes need water to breed, and generally have a seven day incubation period. Make sure to clear areas where still water might accumulate, including pots, buckets, and pool covers. Change bird bath water no less than once a week.
- Check the screens on doors and windows to help ensure mosquitoes can’t get in—they’re most active in the evening, when opening windows for cool air is most appealing.
- When outside, use a natural mosquito repellant like lemon eucalyptus oil, and consider lighting citronella candles around the yard.
West Nile Virus Symptoms
While lyme disease is often heralded by a rash, many other tick bite illnesses don’t have a clear indicator (besides finding the tick bite). While mosquito bites leave an itchy bump, signs of (rare) but serious infections may take a few days to appear.
After a tick or mosquito bite, take seriously:
- Signs of infection, including fever, headache, and malaise
- Nausea or vomiting on top of signs of a fever
- Rashes around the site of the tick or mosquito bite
Bartonella is an increasingly common disease transmitted by both ticks and mosquito bites; it has a range of symptoms, many of which are serious, including inflammation of the heart (endocarditis).
For most insect transmitted diseases, whether lyme disease, parasite, or other virus or bacteria, early treatment is the best option. Although many of these diseases are rare, not getting treatment can be deadly—even if you already have a healthy immune system! Many of these diseases are treated with a heavy dose of antibiotics, but some require antivirals, steroids, or other similar medications.
You can always support your immune system with a daily helping of colloidal silver, so stock up against mosquito bites!
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