• Home
  • Don’t Get Bugged!

Don’t Get Bugged!

Spending lots of time outdoors lately? Perhaps you have been learning about a variety of bugs. Most are harmless, but some insects bite and can cause pain, itchiness and disease transmission.  For example, certain mosquitoes can pass on West Nile Virus, and blacklegged ticks (deer ticks) can transmit Lyme Disease. Public Health professionals monitor insects and work with municipalities and property owners to control insect populations. You can also reduce the risk for your family. 


  • Mosquitoes are most active at the beginning and end of day. Minimize your time outdoors at those times.
  • Wear loose-fitting, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks. Tuck pant legs into your socks. Choose light colours which are less attractive to insects. Consider using mosquito netting.
  • Dump standing water regularly that collects in toys, empty flowerpots or construction materials.  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, and keep them trimmed to decrease the places where adult mosquitoes hide.
  • Ensure window and door screens are in good repair.


  •  Ticks live along trails, in long grass, and in the woods.
  • After outdoor walks, check everyone for ticks, including pets. Check the groin, scalp and armpits. By putting clothes in a hot dryer for 10 minutes, all unattached ticks will die.
  • Do another ‘tick check’ when you bathe or shower at night.
  • If you find a tick:
    • Use tweezers and grab the tick as close to its head as possible.
    • Pull the tick upward and away from the body with steady pressure.
    • Clean the area with soap and water and wash your hands.
    • Submit your tick for identification to www.etick.ca or to the Middlesex-London Health Unit.


Did you know? Removal within 24 hours stops Lyme disease from being transmitted.

Health Canada provides a list of which insect repellents are approved for use in Canada because they are safe and effective. Follow package directions for how often to reapply, and always avoid eyes, mouth and hands. Thoroughly wash hands and exposed skin upon returning indoors. It is not safe to use insect repellent on infants under six months. Instead protect little ones by using mosquito netting over the stroller and supervising for safety.

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


iMiddlesex-London Health Unit. (2024, March 11). Prevention and Personal Protection for West Nile Virus. Retrieved from https://www.healthunit.com/prevention-and-personal-protection

ii Middlesex-London Health Unit. (2024, May 7). Lyme Disease – Prevention and Personal Protection. Retrieved from https://www.healthunit.com/lyme-prevention-personal-protection


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


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

News Letter