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Summer Safety: Bites, Stings and Everything in Between

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The National Pest Management Association shares tips for avoiding
summertime pests

Summertime drives people outdoors and in search of fair weather fun. A
recent online survey from the National Recreation and Park Association
lists having a picnic or barbecue, going for a walk/hike, and going to
the beach as the top three favorite summertime activities here in the
U.S. With so much time being spent outside this season, the National
Pest Management Association (NPMA)
is urging Americans to protect
against encounters with pests, such as stinging insects, mosquitoes and
ticks, that can pack a painful and itchy punch with their bites and
stings.

"Although barbecues and vacations are popular plans when we imagine
summertime fun, pests and the health risks that they pose should also be
top of mind," said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for
NPMA. "Reducing encounters with pests is crucial, especially as
significant health threats such as West Nile virus and tick-borne
diseases are on the rise. Stinging insects are also out and about, and
are known to send more than half a million people to the Emergency Room
every year."

Enjoy a pest-free summer with these five tips from the National Pest
Management Association:

  1. Look
    for Breeding Grounds
    : Eliminate areas of standing water around
    the yard, such as grill covers and flowerpots where water can collect
    and pool. Some mosquito species only need half an inch of water to lay
    their eggs — that's the size of a bottle cap.
  2. Wear
    Insect Repellent
    : Whenever spending time outdoors, always use
    insect repellent with at least 20 percent DEET or other ingredients
    approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Make
    sure to reapply according to product directions and put it on over top
    of sunscreen.
  3. Check
    for Ticks
    : Conduct tick checks after spending time outdoors
    and wear light-colored clothing to make spotting ticks easier. If you
    discover a tick already embedded, use fine-tipped tweezers to remove
    it, grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling
    outward in a straight motion. Tightly wrap it in tissue and dispose of
    the tick by flushing it down the toilet or taking it to an outside
    garbage receptacle.
  4. Protect the Party: Keep backyard parties protected from pests
    by covering food and beverages and sealing garbage receptacles. Opt
    for clear cups and cover up cans to prevent stinging insects from
    sneaking inside. Before hosting a party, it's a good idea to do a
    quick inspection around the deck or entertainment areas to ensure no
    stinging insect nests are present. If one is found, do not handle it
    on your own but rather call in a pest professional to identify the
    species and remove the threat.
  5. Rethink Your Wardrobe: Anytime a person is spending time
    outdoors, it's a wise decision to avoid wearing sweet-smelling
    fragrances, dark-colored clothing, minimal clothing, or sandals.
    Certain fragrances and colors can attract pests and exposed skin is a
    magnet for biting insects like mosquitoes. Long, light wardrobe
    options with closed toe shoes are the best bet.

For more advice about preventing common household pests, visit PestWorld.org.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment
to the protection of public health, food and property. For more
information, visit 
PestWorld.org.

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