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Don’t Be Bugged! Be Prepared!

Your family has probably spent much time outside lately. Perhaps you have been examining and learning about a variety of bugs.  Most are harmless, but some insect bites can cause pain, itchiness and transmit disease.

  • Certain types of mosquitoes can pass on West Nile Virus after biting an infected animal or bird.
  • Blacklegged ticks (deer ticks) can transmit Lyme Disease after feeding on infected small animals or birds. 


  • Mosquitoes are most active at the beginning and end of day (sunrise and sunset). Minimize your time outdoors at those times.
  • Wear loose-fitting, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks. Tuck pant legs into your socks for extra protection. Choose light colours which are less attractive to insects. Consider using mosquito netting.
  • Dump standing water regularly that collects in toys, empty flowerpots, construction materials, etc.  If you leave out water for birds or pets, change it a few times a week. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water.
  • Clean up debris under trees, plants and bushes on your property, as well as keeping them trimmed to decrease the places where adult mosquitoes hide.
  • Ensure window and door screens are in good repair. 


  • Ticks are most likely to be found along trails, in long grass and the woods.
  • After outdoor walks, check everyone, including pets, for ticks, especially the groin, scalp and armpit areas.
  • Bathe or shower within two hours of being outside. 

If you find a tick, remove it using the method found here: healthunit.com/lyme-prevention-personal-protection. Removal within 24 hours stops Lyme disease from being transmitted.

  • To submit a tick for identification, go to: etick.ca

Find out what insect repellents have been approved for use in Canada because they are safe and effective.

  • Do not use insect repellent on a child younger than 6 months of age. Use mosquito netting over a stroller and supervise for safety.
  • Know what products to use for what age groups and how often to safely re-apply.
  • Avoid eyes, mouth and hands.
  • Wash hands and exposed skin well after being outside.

Want to know more? https://www.healthunit.com/vector-borne-diseases

Heather Bywaters RN PHN
Middlesex-London Health Unit
For the Middlesex-London Community Early Years Partnership


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