The beautiful spring is coming, and after a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a welcome sight! But, after a warm winter in much of the country, there’s a host of bugs headed your way. Many are gorgeous and wonderful to study, but a few are problematic to humans. Which ones are going to be a problem to avoid? Here are a few bugs you should watch out for if you want to enjoy the outdoors safely.
The worst, perhaps of all insect-borne illnesses are carried by ticks. Besides rocky mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, there are at least fourteen coinfections that they carry that can infect humans, which is far too many. With Lyme cases increasing exponentially every year, and testing for it less accurate than medical professionals would prefer, deterring ticks is critical. They thrive when there are not forty or more freezing days per year and walk towards anything emitting carbon dioxide. Lyme disease and other bacterial infections carried by ticks can go into chronic infections, so using a bug spray with DEET whenever you’re outdoors is particularly important.
Far from being a slight annoyance that leaves itchy marks, mosquitoes are among the most dangerous pests because of the diseases they carry. Besides things like malaria and Zika virus, almost any blood carried virus can also be carried by mosquitoes. Dengue, chikungunya, and others can also be transmitted. Lyme disease has been found in the blood in mosquitos’ stomachs, though studies are still ongoing as to whether it’s transmitted that way.
“Kissing Bugs” and Chagas
There’s been a lot of talk in the past few years about Chagas disease. Over 28 states have documented cases of this illness caused by a parasite carried by the kissing bugs, and there’s good reason to want to avoid it. Besides gastrointestinal symptoms, head and body ache, and fever, this parasite can cause ongoing chronic infection, which is only treatable with medication after the CDC releases specific drugs to use.
Insects are your friends, and important both as pollinators and food for much of the animals of the world. Using an excellent DEET bug spray on yourself and your family members helps immensely. Avoid bites and do tick checks after outdoor excursions. It’s critical for your future health.Read this next: How to Be Prepared Before Camping in the Wilderness