Protecting yourself from pesky summertime bugs
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - As hot and humid summer days set in, pesky bug bites are becoming a lot more common in the Red River Valley. When venturing outside you could walk away with more than a few mosquito or tick bites.
On the tick front, the cold and wet spring may have decreased the overall number of ticks in the area, the recent humid days inevitably brought on the ticks.
Not all ticks spread disease, but in North Dakota the two most common species can be carriers. The American dog tick can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and the Deer tick can carry Lyme Disease.
The Wood tick, most common tick species found in Minnesota, doesn’t carry Lyme Disease, but the Deer tick does. North Dakota health officials in point many Lyme Disease cases in the state as a result of deer ticks over in Minnesota.
The CDC reports a dramatic increase in tick-borne illnesses across the U.S. with Lyme Disease being the most prevalent. A person infected with Lyme Disease can experience fever, chills, and a rash.
The easiest way to avoid ticks is to stay on a trail and avoid tall grass. It’s best to wear long pants and sleeves and take a hot shower if you may have come in contact with a tick. If bitten, carefully remove the tick by the head with tweezers.
Mosquitoes are another pesky bug that are buzzing around the valley this time of year. While Cass County Vector Control works to monitor and keep the mosquito population at bay, weather plays a major role on numbers.
After each rainfall during the summer months, a new batch or ‘brood’ of mosquitoes typically emerge. Standing water becomes a breeding ground for the insects. While mosquitoes bites tend to be annoying and itchy, they can also become fatal. The North Dakota Department of Health reported 30 cases of West Nile Virus in 2021. Data shows 14 of those cases were hospitalized, and one person died from the virus.
Experts recommend limiting areas of standing water to knock out their breeding grounds. If heading outdoors wear long light colored clothing and use bug spray that contains deet.
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