The Real Danger of Mosquitos and Ticks:

As the warm weather approaches, the joy of spending time outdoors is often dampened by the looming threat of mosquitos and ticks. These tiny creatures can pose serious health risks, making it crucial to understand the dangers they present and how to protect yourself and your loved ones effectively.

The Growing Threat of Ticks

Ticks have become an increasing concern, especially with the trend of warmer winters allowing them to thrive in areas previously too cold for their survival. This expansion has led to a rise in tick populations and consequently, tick-borne diseases.

Types of Ticks and Their Dangers
  1. Black-legged Tick (Deer Tick): Known for transmitting Lyme disease, which can cause severe neurological and cardiovascular issues if untreated.
  2. Lone Star Tick: Can cause Alpha-gal syndrome, a severe allergy to red meat, and is also known for transmitting ehrlichiosis and tularemia.
  3. American Dog Tick: Responsible for spreading Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a potentially fatal disease if not promptly treated.
  4. Brown Dog Tick: Known to transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever in some regions.
Proper Tick Removal and Testing

If you find a tick on your body, it’s essential to remove it promptly and correctly to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure, avoiding twisting or jerking. Once removed, keep the tick in a sealed plastic bag in case it needs to be tested for diseases.

The Deadly Threat of Mosquitos

Mosquitos are not just a nuisance; they are the deadliest creatures on the planet due to the diseases they transmit. Every year, mosquitos are responsible for millions of deaths worldwide.

Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitos
  1. Malaria: Causes severe fever, chills, and can be fatal if untreated. Malaria alone is responsible for over 400,000 deaths annually​ (UCSD Today)​​ (Smithsonian Institution)​.
  2. Dengue Fever: Leads to severe flu-like symptoms and can develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is often deadly​
  3. Zika Virus: Linked to birth defects in babies born to infected mothers.
  4. West Nile Virus: Can cause neurological diseases and death.
  5. Chikungunya: Causes joint pain, fever, and can lead to chronic arthritis​

Prevention Techniques for Tick and Mosquito Bites

Protective Clothing and Topical Applications

Wearing long sleeves, long pants, and socks can significantly reduce the risk of bites. For added protection, use insect repellents on exposed skin and clothing. Two commonly used chemicals are DEET and Picaridin.

  1. DEET: Highly effective in repelling ticks and mosquitos but has been linked to potential endocrine disruption.
  2. Picaridin: Another effective option that is less likely to irritate the skin and is not greasy.

While these chemicals are effective, they come with potential risks, such as endocrine disruption and skin irritation, making it crucial to use them as directed and consider safer alternatives where possible​.

Natural Approaches to Prevention

For those seeking a natural approach, certain plants and essential oils can be highly effective in repelling ticks and mosquitos.

  1. Planting Tick-Repellent Plants: Plants like lavender, sage, mint, and rosemary around your home can help deter ticks.
  2. Essential Oils: Oils such as eucalyptus, lemon, lavender, and tea tree oil have been shown to repel both ticks and mosquitos. These can be applied directly to the skin when diluted or used in diffusers around your home.


Ticks and mosquitos are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Utilizing all available prevention tools, from protective clothing and chemical repellents to natural alternatives like specific plants and essential oils, can help ensure you and your family have a safe and enjoyable summer. By staying informed and prepared, you can effectively reduce the risk these dangerous insects pose.