CINCINNATI - The heat and humidity have returned to the region, and so has the ever despised backyard blood sucking pests. Whether flying through the air or dropping from a tree branch, mosquitos and ticks are in full force this Memorial Day weekend.
"If you go more than seven days without a washout rain, you're probably going to start having an increase in [mosquito] activity," said Public Health Sanitarian, Jack Tobler, with the Cincinnati Health Department . "We need to take a conscious effort to protect ourselves against them."
Tobler says exactly what we have all heard before, and it is worth repeating. Make sure that all of your gutters, water hoses, gardening containers, toys are empty of any water, because that is where mosquitos want to be to lay their eggs.
Dr. Mark Deis with Pediatric Associates in Northern Kentucky suggests using a bug spray to keep from being bitten.
"A concentration of Deet , up to 30 percent is approved for the use in over two-month-old kids and if they're under two-months-old you probably shouldn't put anything on them."
There is another product called permethrin that can be put on the cuffs of shirt and pants to keep bugs away. Deis emphatically said do not put a flea and tick collar on children or anyone else. While using them may seem convenient, it can be quite dangerous.
"The concentrations are going to be higher," said Deis. "And kids are going to be more likely to rub a collar like that and then stick their fingers in their mouth our their eyes."
The other pesky pest is ticks. They are hitchhiking thrill seeking pests that climb to the top of a tall blade of grass or limb and drop onto a host. Longer light weight clothing can help prevent ticks from attaching to your body.
Should you find one on you or a loved one, do not attempt to use a fire, cigarette, or match to burn the insect off of the skin.
"If I lit a fire under your butt, you're probably going to regurgitate whatever you're eating at the time," Tobler said laughingly. "[But,] That's actually how the disease transmission occurs."
He added that squishing, smothering, or drowning is not a preferred way to remove a tick either.
"Get a pair of tweezers and grab the mouth parts and pull directly up on the tick and don't leave any of the mouth parts in, if at all possible," said Tobler.
There is the possibility for itchiness to occur with any bug bite, according to Dr. Deis. But you do not want to scratch it, because that increases the possibility for infection.
"Typical bug bites are raised and red. They can be painful or itchy," said Deis. "If they are itchy, you want to use something like oral benadryl or you can use a topical steroid like topical hydrocortisone as much as four times a day."
After two days, if the wound become more red, it is probably infected at that point. Then, wash it three times a day and apply a topical cream like polysporin.
"If it gets redder or fever occurs, the [person] probably needs to be seen by their doctor," Deis said.
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