Don’t Let the Pesky Bugs Bite

June 11, 2014

Huron County, ON – With the hot temperatures returning, so are the annoying bugs. The Huron County Health Unit is reminding people to protect themselves against mosquito and tick bites.

Public Health Inspector Keshia McDonagh says although the risk of becoming sick from a bug bite is low, mosquito and tick bites can cause diseases such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease.

West Nile Virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms or they may have flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, or body aches.

Lyme disease is spread to humans through the bite of an infected deer tick. Early signs of Lyme disease include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue. There may also be a skin rash in the shape of a bull’s eye. If you have symptoms of Lyme disease, and have been in an area known to contain Lyme disease carrying ticks, call your doctor immediately.

McDonagh suggests these tips to protect yourself while outdoors:

  • Use bug repellent that contains DEET, and apply it after sunscreen.
  • Wear light-coloured long-sleeved tops and pants.
  • Try to limit the time you spend outdoors at dusk and dawn.

McDonagh also encourages home owners to take an inventory of any possible sources of standing water on their properties. “Make sure you dump out water from items such as buckets, old tires, bird baths and anything else that can hold water. This will disturb mosquito breeding grounds. It’s also important for home owners to repair any holes in door and window screens.”

After spending time outdoors, check yourself and your pets for ticks. If you find a tick:

  • Remove it using tweezers, grasping the tick as close to your skin as possible.
  • Pull it straight out, try to be gentle but firm.
  • Save the tick in a jar or screw cap bottle and take it to your doctor, your vet, or the Huron County Health Unit for testing.
  • Clean the bite site with soap and water.

For more information on West Nile Virus, Lyme disease and ways to protect yourself, visit the health unit’s website at


Our media contact is: Sharon Brown, Huron County Health Unit, 519.482.3416 or toll-free 1.877.837.6143 ext. 2224.

Our spokesperson is: Keshia McDonagh, Public Health Inspector.

Photo Caption:
An adult female blacklegged tick waiting on a blade of grass for host.
Photo Credit: Centres for Disease Control


For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)