While we’ve all been itching for it to be summer already, it’s also the season for annoying insects. Mosquitoes and ticks are a real issue here in Missouri – and can be even more serious when seniors are involved. And while there have not been any Zika virus cases locally (or in the U.S.), protecting against mosquito and tick-borne illnesses should be top of mind. We thought we’d share the Missouri Department of Heath and Senior Home Care top five recommendations for protection against bites from these critters:

1. Repel. The easiest way to keep insects away is to wear insect repellent on both your skin and your clothing. These repellents work best.

2. Loosen Up. Wear loose fit clothing that cover up your skin – long sleeve shirts and tops that cover the skin (but allow you to be comfortable) are ideal.

3. Air Condition. While it’s not the most cost efficient recommendation, closing your windows and using A/C will reduce your exposure to mosquitoes. If you don’t choose this route and you want a natural breeze, make sure your screens are tight and secure on all windows that are open.

4. Drain. Avoid having standing water around your house (such as a bucket, planter, fountain, pool, etc.) On a weekly basis, empty and scrub these items. Mosquitoes like to lay eggs in water-filled containers.

5.  Talk. If you are taking care of a senior, let others (family members, other caregivers, friends and neighbors) know the importance of keeping insects away and share the tips above with this group.

For more information, check out the CDC’s tips.

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