Back to Top Skip to main content

Army entomology experts: Don’t get bitten

The lone star tick is the most common tick found in the southeastern U.S. One of the first things people can do to prevent a tick bite is to recognize tick habitats, and avoid them. (U.S. Army photo by Graham Snodgrass) The lone star tick is the most common tick found in the southeastern U.S. One of the first things people can do to prevent a tick bite is to recognize tick habitats, and avoid them. (U.S. Army photo by Graham Snodgrass)

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | Bug-Borne Illnesses | Tick-Borne Illnesses

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — With the summer season in full swing, Army Public Health Center entomologists recognize the undeniable presence of mosquitoes and ticks, and emphasize the importance of being aware that their bites can transmit illnesses.

While not every mosquito or tick is infected, experts believe it is important to use protective measures to prevent bites and the potential diseases they can carry. Dr. Robyn Nadolny, a biologist and program coordinator at the APHC Tick-Borne Disease Laboratory, emphasizes disease prevention saying, “ticks are everywhere and people need to make themselves aware.”

"Anyone can get a tick and get sick," she said.

Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Clark, an entomologist and deputy chief of the Entomological Sciences Division at the APHC, stresses the importance of personal protection against bites from both ticks and mosquitoes. "The best way to ensure you don't get sick is to not get bitten," he said.

Army entomologists say protecting yourself from tick and mosquito bites while outdoors is easy. Both Nadolny and Clark advise the use of an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on exposed skin, and the use of the insecticide permethrin on clothing. The Army issues factory-treated permethrin uniforms to Soldiers as well as insect repellents containing the compounds mentioned above for use on skin to ensure they have maximum protection while conducting operations. These repellents, permethrin aerosols, and factory-treated permethrin clothing can also be purchased online or at any outdoor sports retailer.

Mosquitoes and ticks spread diseases to people, pets and other animals through pathogens in their saliva. As a result, prompt removal of a tick is one way to reduce risk of disease transmission, Nadolny said. This is because, for most tick-borne diseases, the tick needs to be attached for 24-48 hours to transmit pathogens. If a tick is found attached to the skin, experts recommend removing the tick by using pointy tweezers, grabbing the tick close to the skin and pulling it out slowly. Mosquitoes, on the other hand, can transmit diseases immediately upon biting you so bite prevention is absolutely critical, Clark said.

They also recommend doing a thorough tick check after spending time in tick habitat and putting clothes through a cycle on hot in the dryer immediately after getting home in order kill any ticks on the clothes. This is because, unlike mosquitoes, ticks can take their time finding a nice spot to bite you. Clark recalls times when ticks picked up on his clothing during the day were found crawling on him at night when he was working in Kenya. The ticks had crawled off his clothing and onto the bed in search of a meal.

Other efforts can be taken to reduce the chances of getting a mosquito or tick-borne disease. These efforts focus on minimizing contact with these pests. By eliminating tall grass and brush around the home, one can reduce harborage areas for ticks and mosquitoes, as well as for other animals that might carry ticks into the yard. Minimizing areas that collect rain water like clogged gutters, trash, flower vases/pots and puddles denies breeding habitat for mosquitoes. Also, keeping doors closed and window screens in good repair will deny hungry mosquitoes access to your house.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Three steps for a successful end-of-summer blow out

Article
8/14/2019
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Mario Cardenas, with Provost Marshal's Office, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, prepares lunch for the H&HS Barbecue Cook-off at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Hiatt)

In just three stages, any military family can have a fun-filled welcome party for fall

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Summer Safety

Ditch the ticks this summer: Protect your family from Lyme disease

Article
8/2/2019
Lyme disease is transmitted to people through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. About 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year. (DoD photo)

Lyme disease is transmitted to people through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses

Prevent mosquito-borne illness in the U.S. and overseas

Article
7/31/2019
Most mosquitoes are relatively harmless. But some can cause serious diseases

Mosquitoes can spread dangerous diseases no matter where you are

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Tick Facts: Dangers at the height of tick season

Article
7/31/2019
A tick like this one, seen at 10x magnification, can spread a number of dangerous pathogens during the warm-weather months. (Photo by Cornel Constantin)

Many diseases are transferred to humans by ticks — Lyme is the most common, but several others, described here, are worth knowing about

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Public Health

Avoid bug bites on vacation with these TRICARE tips

Article
7/30/2019
According to the EPA, using the right insect repellent can discourage mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects from landing on you and biting you

If you’re traveling to areas where they may be a higher chance of getting malaria from mosquitoes or tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, take steps to avoid these bugs and others.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Tick-Borne Illnesses

Moments in Military Medicine: Bug Week

Video
7/30/2019
Moments in Military Medicine: Bug Week

Learn about the connection between military medicine and yellow fever in this video

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2

Bug Week: Fleas

Video
7/22/2019
DHA Seal

Fleas aren’t just annoying to cats and dogs, they can carry diseases dangerous to humans too. Follow these tips to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2

Bug Week: Mosquitoes

Video
7/22/2019
DHA Seal

What's the deadliest animal in the world? Mosquitoes! Besides leaving itchy bites, mosquitoes can also carry potentially deadly illnesses. Take steps to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week: Ticks

Video
7/22/2019
DHA Seal

Whether spending time in your backyard or deep in the woods, stay safe from harmful diseases from ticks with the following tips.

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Bug-Borne Illnesses | Tick-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week Fact Sheet Babesia

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Babesia is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Armed Services Blood Program

Bug Week Fact Sheet Chagas

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Chagas is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program

Bug Week Fact Sheet West Nile

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how West Nile is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week Fact Sheet Malaria

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Malaria is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week Fact Sheet Dengue

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Dengue is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Summer’s fun, just avoid too much sun

Article
6/25/2019
Soaking up the sun is one of the best parts about summer. However, make sure to protect your skin when enjoying the sun-filled days ahead. Too much unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause sunburn, eye damage, and skin damage in the form of premature wrinkles. (DoD photo)

Make sure to protect your skin when enjoying the sun-filled days ahead

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | TRICARE Health Program
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 4

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.