It also means more exposure to the elements, including bites, stings, or otherwise pesky interruptions from insects. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe:
- 1-minute tip: Don’t forget the bug spray! One of the easiest ways to deter mosquitos, and some of the potentially harmful diseases that they can transmit, is to use an insect repellant when you’re outside hiking, camping, or even just in the backyard. Be sure to choose a repellant that has been tested and recommended as being effective.
- 5-minute tip: Check under the sheets! If you’re on vacation and staying in a hotel, it’s often a good idea to double-check the bedding for bed bugs. Signs of bed bugs include rusty stains on bed sheets (from bugs being crushed), dark spots from excrement, eggs or eggshells (which are about 1mm), or simply live bed bugs.
- 15-minute tip: Learn your spiders! Spiders may be creepy, but most of them are pretty beneficial—they keep other insect populations in check. However, a few spiders such as the Black Widow and Brown Recluse that have poisonous bites. Learn how to identify good and bad spiders, so you have a better understanding what sorts of places you need to take extra precaution, clean more often, or put out spider traps.
- 20-minute tip: Check for ticks! Ticks are a significant danger to humans as well as pets in California. The blacklegged tick can carry Lyme disease and is not uncommon across the state. If you, your children, or your pets have been enjoying outdoor activities like hiking or camping—particularly near wooded or grassy areas, or near leaf piles and shrubs—check thoroughly for ticks afterwards.
This article first appeared in the May 2017 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.