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News & Events
Insects Affect Us No Matter Where We Live
It doesn’t really matter where you live; a house, or a great place like Westminster Village, insects can infest our lives. When the weather gets warmer and rain comes down, we have insects both inside and out. Some can bite and cause discomfort and even disease.
Ticks can be dangerous for active adults and their pets
Both Westminster Village residents and their pets want to enjoy the walking paths and landscape without the threat of pests. But, if you spend lots of time outside in wooded or grassy areas, you have a chance of experiencing a tick bite. Your pets can also carry ticks on them. These bothersome arachnids can carry disease and cause skin irritations, as well as the fact that certain varieties are carriers for Lyme Disease. It’s important to be aware, although most people don’t experience any serious issues when bitten by a tick.
Ticks require blood meals to complete their life cycles. They attach themselves to people or animals and suck blood. Ticks don’t fly or drop. They simply crawl onto the host and bury themselves into the skin.
Most people won’t experience any symptoms and the tick bite will be a minor issue, but others may experience itching, burning, redness or a red spot. Rarely some might feel pain in the joints. If you are allergic to the tick bite, you could experience more serious symptoms, including:
- rash near bite,
- shortness of breath
- numbness, or
- paralysis (for example, neck stiffness)
The symptoms for Lyme Disease include:
- Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
- A very recognizable rash with a bulls-eye appearance; may be warm but rarely is itchy or painful
Always consult a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms after being bitten by a tick. Once you visit your doctor, make sure that you tell him or her that you’ve found a tick on your body. Doctors don’t have good tests to determine that you’ve been bitten, but they can do tests if they know that there was a tick. You can protect yourself from ticks with appropriate clothing and DEET-containing repellents. You can spray your animals with flea and tick repellents before they play outside or, even easier, you can get preventative medications from the vet.
Mosquitos can cause harm for seniors who like the outdoors
Mosquitos breed in standing water puddles, ponds and lakes. They thrive in even the smallest water spots like bird baths, children’s swimming pools and clogged drains. Mosquitos can also carry disease, but in most cases, they just cause a little itching and some discomfort. Just like ticks, these flying bugs need blood meals to complete their reproduction process.
Mosquito bites leave skin itchy, red and sometimes swollen. Because the mosquito moves from host to host, each can pick up and carry diseases from one person to another. The infected insect becomes a tool to move the disease.
You can control mosquitos by making sure that windows are closed and screens are intact. Clean out any small item that holds standing water at least once a week, like pots on the patio. Use insect repellent when walking, playing or sitting outside.
Bed Bugs can infest any home
Anyone who travels could unknowingly carry bed bugs home with them. People have found bed bugs in hotels, departments stores and other people’s homes. You can carry them home in your luggage, on your clothes, and in store merchandise. No one is immune.
Bed bugs live in your mattress, your carpet, behind picture frames and in drawers. They can move from room to room through the electrical outlets in your house. Bed bugs require blood to live and cause skin irritations by biting you, usually during the night.
Getting rid of bed bugs can be difficult and expensive, but there are some preventive measures. When traveling check all hotel mattresses, especially in corners, for black bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins. Check the linings of your luggage before bringing them into your home. Check items that you might want to purchase at department stores, especially hats.
Don’t let the idea of bugs put a damper on your summer fun. With a little bit of prevention and some caution, you can enjoy the activities and events that make the retirement lifestyle so wonderful without the thought of pests disrupting your fun.
-Elaine of the Westminster Village Blog Team