Prevent Mosquito and Tick Bites

The Basics
Some mosquitoes and ticks carry diseases. Take steps to protect your family from bites.

Take Action!
Clear brush, tall grasses, and fallen leaves from around your home.

Start Today: Small Steps

healthfinder.gov

The Basics

Spending time together outdoors is good for the whole family. Don’t let mosquito and tick bites ruin your fun.

Most bug bites are harmless, but some mosquitoes and ticks spread germs that can make you sick. Some of these germs are very serious – and may even be deadly.

Protect yourself from mosquito and tick bites.

When you spend time outside, take these steps to protect yourself:

Protect your pets, too.

Ticks also carry germs that can make pets sick. And when pets bring ticks into the house, those ticks can bite you, too.


Take Action!

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Keep mosquitoes out of and away from your home.

Use screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Repair any holes in the screens, and don’t leave doors propped open.

Mosquitoes lay eggs in or near standing water. To help keep them away from your home:

Keep ticks away from your home.

Many types of ticks live in areas with woods, bushes, or high grass – so if you have a yard, it’s important to keep it clear. Animals like mice, dogs, and deer may also carry ticks in their fur.

To help keep ticks away from your home:

Learn more about how to keep ticks out of the yard through landscaping.

Use insect repellent.

Insect repellent makes it harder for mosquitoes and ticks to find you.

What type of repellent do I need?

How do I use insect repellent?

When you go back inside, be sure to wash insect repellent off skin with soap and water.

For more tips,  check out this fact sheet about preventing mosquito bites [PDF - 700 KB].

Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.

Cover up your skin to prevent mosquito bites.

Take a shower after being outside in an area that might have ticks.

A shower can help get ticks off you and lower your risk of Lyme and other diseases ticks can spread. Try to shower within 2 hours of going back inside.

Check for ticks after spending time outside – even in your yard.

Check everybody in the family, including pets. Check the entire body, especially:

Get more tips on doing a tick check [PDF - 82 KB].

Use tweezers to remove a tick as soon as you see it.

Get rid of the tick safely.

Get rid of the tick by putting it in rubbing alcohol or flushing it down the toilet. You can also put a tick in the trash, but only if it’s in a sealed container or wrapped tightly in tape.

Remember, never crush a tick with your fingers.  Get more tips on removing ticks

Tell the doctor if you get sick after a tick bite.

If you or your child gets a rash or fever after getting bitten by a tick, call your doctor. Tell the doctor about the tick bite, when it happened, and where you think you were when you got the bite.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites when you travel.

Learn more about preventing mosquito bites when you are traveling [PDF - 387 KB].


Start Today: Small Steps

Accessible version