Take precautions to prevent tick and mosquito-borne diseases


CONTACT: Dee W. Jones, D.V.M.
(334) 206-5971
CONTACT: Sherri L. Davidson, M.P.H.
(334) 206-5971

As the days get longer and the kids get out of school, many Alabamians will be spending a lot more time outside. Warmer weather means lots of fun outdoor activities, but it also means tick and mosquito season. While most tick and mosquito bites are only an annoyance, sometimes these bites can be dangerous.

“Ticks and mosquitoes can transmit viruses and bacteria when they bite, causing illnesses that range from mild to severe or even fatal,” according to Sherri Davidson, interim state epidemiologist. West Nile virus disease, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are a handful of diseases Alabamians can get from ticks and mosquitoes in their own backyards.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to lower the risk of disease to you and your family. Dr. Dee Jones, state public health veterinarian, says, “The best way to avoid getting a disease from a tick or mosquito is to reduce the risk of being bitten.” You can help keep ticks and mosquitoes off of your skin and out of your yard by following these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • When going outdoors, use EPA-registered repellents containing 20 percent DEET on skin or permethrin on clothes. Follow label instructions carefully when using any repellent. Repellents should not be used on infants less than 2 months old.
  • Wear loose-fitting long sleeves and long pants.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air-conditioning, if available.
  • Empty standing water from items outside homes such as flowerpots, buckets, old tires and children's pools.
  • Clean clogged gutters and clear drainage ditches and pipes of debris.
  • Remove leaf litter from yard, and mow lawn frequently.

All Alabamians deserve a healthy, fun-filled summer! You and your family can safely enjoy all the great outdoor activities our state has to offer if you take steps to avoid mosquito and tick bites.

If you would like to learn more, check out the resources below.