- Don’t feed deer — ever.
- Always wear insect repellant, as well as clothing treated with repellant. (See other alert in this section of the website to learn what repellants offer the best protection.)
- When working in the garden or on walks outdoors, wear light colored clothing, so that ticks can be seen easily.
- Tuck your pants into your socks.
- Comb your hair thoroughly and check the rest of your body when you come back inside.
- Treat your pets with Frontline or other tick and mosquito control substances. Ask your vet about the best products for your pets.
- If your property is frequented by voles, mice, deer, or other animals that carry ticks (and that is most yards!), use repellents and/or have your property treated with insecticides to kill grubs and other food sources that may be attracting them.
- Seek medical assistance if you develop a bull’s eye rash, flu-like symptoms, or any other unusual symptoms, especially after you have been bitten. And, if you have spent a lot of times outdoors and have not been feeling well, ask your physician about being tested for a tick-born disease. Some of these diseases can be treated with antibiotics, and if left untreated, people can develop a variety of health problems, including facial paralysis, heart palpitations, arthritis, severe headaches, and neurological disorders.
Here are links to other articles should you wish to read more about this growing threat:
While we all go a little batty at times, especially in the fall when we rush to finish end-of-the-season gardening tasks and social obligations intensify, did you know that bats are far more active in autumn as well? With this increase in bat activity, you are more likely to encounter bats in or around your home. Lake County tests bats annually and have found roughly 4% are rabid. So, while it is recognized that bats can do much good for the environment with some species being pollinators and many bat species consuming pesky insects, we do not want any personal, close contact. The following links will give you information on what you can do to protect yourself and family and who you can call should a bat get inside your home or garage.
U of Il Extension Service:
Keep Pollinators Safe!
Photo Credit: Marge McClintock
We are warned daily about protecting ourselves against the Zika and West Nile viruses, both carried by mosquitoes. Wear protective clothing, use bug repellant, treat standing water, spray for mosquitoes.
Less often we hear about another disease affecting bees called Colony Collapse Disorder, which resulted in the loss of 44% of honeybee colonies last year in the US. Bees are vital to our agricultural economy: their pollination contributed over $14 billion to the value of our crops in 2015, are necessary for many crops such as blueberries, cherries, and almonds — and of course, the more than 175 million pounds of honey harvested annually in the US.
But thiamethoxam and clothianidin — two insecticides banned in some European countries but sold in the US — have been found to reduce sperm in male bees. Look for insecticides that don’t include these chemicals. Don’t spray insecticides on flowers when they are in bloom. And if there is a breeze — protect birds, bees, and yourself by not spraying insecticides until it is calm. Bee safe!
To read more about Colony Collapse Disorder, click here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder
Speaking of Mosquitoes…
What should we use to protect ourselves from these annoying and dangerous insects? If you are concerned about DEET, which is considered to offer the most protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says we can rest easy. It is safe! For more information, including using DEET on children, click here: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/deet
What about all of those products or methods that claim to offer protection in “natural” or safe ways? Many don’t work. This article lists seven products or methods that are not very effective. Check it out: http://www.health.com/home/ineffective-zika-products?xid=healthyliving08102016