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As Weather Warms, “Tip and Toss” to Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Areas

Mosquito-and tick-borne diseases are most commonly acquired from June to September, but residents of Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga Counties can “Tip and Toss” to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of mosquito and tick bites.

Tick- and mosquito-borne infections are common in North Carolina.  More than 790 cases of domestically acquired and travel associated tick-and-mosquito-borne diseases were reported in 2015, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, LaCrosse encephalitis, and West Nile virus. The first travel associated case of Zika virus in North Carolina was reported in February 2016.

“Ticks and mosquitoes are common, but we can take measures to limit the risk of being bitten and contracting a tick-or mosquito-borne infection,” said Jen Greene, Deputy Health Director. “We can use the Tip and Toss practices to protect ourselves and our neighbors from tick and mosquito bites this summer.”

Basic control measures include reducing habitat for the pests and reducing exposure to them.

Tip and Toss:

Reduce mosquito breeding opportunities by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least weekly.

Be sure to tightly secure screens on all openings on rain barrels used for water conservation.

Clean up any trash or leaves that may be around your home or in rain gutters.

Reduce exposure and use preventive measures:

Avoid tick habitats, which include wooded, grassy or brushy areas.

Use tick and mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) on exposed skin and wear clothing treated with permethrin, a synthetic insecticide used against disease-carrying insects.

If you find a tick attached to your body, carefully remove it by grasping the tick with fine-tipped tweezers as close as possible to your skin and apply a steady gentle pull until it releases.

Reduce tick habitat on your property by mowing frequently and keeping your yard clear of old furniture and debris.

Mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside, and use air conditioning if you have it.

For more information on preventing tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses visit http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/vector.html. For additional information about AppHealthCare, please call 828-264-4995 or visit our website at www.apphealth.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.