Protect yourself from summer bugs

(CNN) – Summertime and the living is easy… and buggy. Warm temperatures may mean lazy days, but it’s also a time when insects are everywhere, and sometimes, those little critters can carry some serious diseases.  What should you look for and how can you protect yourself?

Warmer temperatures aren’t just attractive to people, but to bugs too. Summer insects are not only pests, but they can transmit viruses and illnesses that can be dangerous.

Mosquitoes can transmit the West Nile virus, as well as eastern equine encephalitis. Fleas can cause bites that can itch and can turn into infections if scratched.  And ticks can infect people with Lyme disease, and other serious problems.

So arm yourself.  When going outside, spray for bugs.  The Centers for Disease Control recommends repellent containing 20% DEET. If mosquitoes are the primary problem, the CDC says use a repellent that contains at least one of these: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Try to stay away from thick underbrush and trees, where ticks hide. Also check your pet to see if they are carrying these nasty critters. Ticks love hairy animals.

And make sure your pet is free of fleas. They too can hitch a ride on your dog or cat and infect those in your home. And when you come inside, check for any of these parasites.

Taking a shower helps, but doing a bug check is also effective.

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