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Don’t Let Insects Take Control of Your Summer

Arm yourself with education about the bugs of summer and dangers of their bites and stings.

Bees, Wasps & Hornets: Bee, wasp, hornet and yellow jacket stings can be very serious, especially if someone has a severe allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. Symptoms include wheezing, trouble breathing, rapid heartbeat, nausea or loss of consciousness.

Mosquitoes: We’re all familiar with the itchy bumps left by the bite of a female mosquito. Mosquitoes can be more than an annoyance – they can carry serious diseases like West Nile virus.

Ants: Mounds of granulated soil are a good sign that fire ants may be underfoot. If you accidentally step on a fire ant colony, hundreds of them will rush to attack you.

Ticks & Chiggers: These pests are common in North Carolina. Their bites are usually nothing more than an annoyance, but ticks can carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Protect Yourself

Avoid bites and stay safe this summer by following these guidelines:

• Remove standing water that could serve as mosquito breeding grounds.

• When you’re outside, apply a good insect repellent that includes DEET.

• Remove or avoid fire ant mounds.

• Conduct thorough “tick checks” on yourself and your children, and promptly remove ticks.

• Call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect anaphylactic shock, and, if prescribed, keep an EPI pen handy at all times.

• See your doctor if fever, headache or rash develops two to 14 days after being bitten. Make sure to tell your doctor of the insect exposure.