TRENTON, N.J. -Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reminded County residents gearing up for the long holiday weekend to exercise caution while outdoors to avoid being bitten by ticks or mosquitoes.
"The weather has warmed up beautifully for Memorial Day and everyone is really feeling that carefree summer spirit," said Hughes. "That said, we all need to take precautions to keep ourselves healthy while engaging in outdoor recreation. Simple things like wearing bug spray and checking your children and pets for ticks really make a big difference."
Hughes explained that residents who do not use proper strategies to prevent tick and mosquito bites can put themselves at risk for severe illnesses such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease.
"In a vast majority of cases, these diseases are preventable through simple common sense," said the County Executive. Hughes noted that even though the County runs a highly sophisticated Mosquito Control program to safeguard the health of residents, mosquitoes remain a reality in the area throughout the warmer months.
Hughes recommends that families take the following measures all summer long to keep themselves safe and healthy:
- Empty all open containers and other sources of standing water
- Invest in citronella candles, torches, or oil lamps-more environmentally friendly than "bug zappers" that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
- Consider enclosing your balcony, porch, or deck with mosquito netting
- Use bug spray at all times and make sure to reapply frequently
- Help children check themselves for ticks, and teach kids what different kinds of ticks look like
- Give pets regular doses of anti-flea/tick medication, and check them for ticks several times per week
- For extra protection, wear long-sleeve clothing and closed-toe shoes when outdoors between dusk and dawn
For more information about protecting your family from ticks and mosquitoes all summer long, as well as up-to-date information about mosquito and tick-borne diseases, contact Mercer County Mosquito Control (609) 530-7516.