Officials urge residents to take precautions

Published 5:40 pm Wednesday, May 28, 2014

SWAN QUARTER, NC – As it gets warm, health officials in Hyde County are encouraging local residents to protect themselves against tick- and mosquito-borne diseases. Warm weather creates an environment for mosquitoes and ticks to thrive.

“Recent rains and warm temperatures leave a friendly breeding environment for mosquitoes and ticks,” said Wesley P. Smith, Director of the Hyde County Health Department. “Residents need to know that they can make their yards less friendly for disease-carrying insects and ticks as well as know what they can do to prevent being bitten.”

This May, the Hyde County Health Department is joining the state’s divisions of Public Health and Environmental Health in promoting simple measures to ward off ticks and mosquitoes.

The Hyde County Health Department offers the following tips for making homes and yards less mosquito- and tick-friendly:

• Keep grass short, and remove plants that attract animals such as deer and rodents;

• Pour out standing water, and remove containers that can hold water;

• Keep gutters clean and in good repair;

• Repair leaky outdoor faucets and change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least twice a week; and

• Check window and door screens.

Exposure to mosquitoes and ticks can be limited by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks. People should also check themselves and their families for ticks when in tick-prone areas. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends several repellents against mosquitoes and ticks – DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Repellents containing permethrin applied to clothing provide excellent protection against ticks. Consumers should look for products that contain the CDC-recommended ingredients, and should read and follow all label instructions.

“The fact is that most repellents are safe for use on children 2 months of age and up, except lemon oil of lemon eucalyptus, which should not be used on children under the age of 3. That’s why it is always important to read and follow all label directions,” said Hugh Watson, Environmental Health Programs Coordinator.

For additional information about preventing mosquito and tick bites, go to the following websites: and