Thursday, July 31, 2014   

Household Pests

Household pests are not only an annoyance, but they can be a health hazard, as well. Take measures to ensure that your home is a healthy environment for you and your family.

Mosquitoes

Protecting Yourself

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, avoid working or playing outside during periods of increased mosquito activity (sunrise, sunset, and the early evening hours). If this is not possible, then wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts that provide a barrier to biting mosquitoes during outside activities. Make certain you protect small children playing outside from mosquitoes. This is best done with clothing, repellents, screens, nets, and continued observation of the children.

For exposed skin protection from biting mosquitoes, wear mosquito repellent containing the active ingredient DEET on exposed skin. Many commercial brands are available, 25-33% DEET repellent for adults is ideal; 10-20% DEET for children. Keep DEET out of the eyes, mouth, and nose. Read and follow the label instructions prior to application.

For additional protection from mosquitoes, insect repellents can be applied on the outside of clothing to repel biting insects. Permethrin can be used on the outside of clothing. This aerosol formulation is applied to the outside of clothing before being worn. Do not spray the inside of clothing that will contact the skin. Again, read and follow the label instructions prior to application. Both DEET and permethrin repellents are available at most hardware stores.


Additional related information:

Ticks

As warm weather arrives, so does tick season. State public health officials want to remind you to be careful when spending time outside since ticks carry several diseases.

North Carolina usually has more cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever each summer than any other state. Two other diseases ticks cause are ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease. All of these diseases first cause flu-like symptoms and are easily treated with antibiotics if caught early. If left untreated, these diseases can become serious and even fatal in some cases.

Prevention

To prevent tick bites, wear long pants and long sleeves when in wooded areas. Tuck pants legs into socks and shirts into pants. Wear light-colored clothes so that you can see ticks more easily, and use repellants to keep ticks from biting. Once you are back inside, check yourself and any children for ticks immediately, paying particular attention to the scalp. It is unlikely disease will get into your blood in the first few hours after a tick bites, so it is important to remove ticks as soon as possible.

Removing Ticks

If you find a tick, grab it with tweezers or a tissue close to the skin and pull straight out slowly until the tick lets go. If mouth parts stay in the skin, remove them with a sterile needle. (Nail polish, petroleum jelly, or hot matches will not make a tick let go of skin). Save the tick in a jar or plastic bag with alcohol in case you develop any symptoms of disease. Wash your hands and the bite area with soap and water, then clean the bite with disinfectant. Write down the date you were bitten and watch for flu-like symptoms for three weeks.

Information from the North Carolina Department Of Environment And Natural Resources.

Rodents

*** information to come (mice, rats) ***

Additionally, visit the N.C. Department Of Natural Resources (DENR) webpage about pest management.

Roaches

*** information to come ***

Additionally, visit the N.C. Department Of Natural Resources (DENR) webpage about pest management.

Other

*** information to come ***

Additionally, visit the N.C. Department Of Natural Resources (DENR) webpage about pest management.