One of the greatest pleasures Active Adults enjoy during summer is spending new-found leisure time pursuing outdoor activities, such as gardening, hiking, cycling, camping, and more.
As with any activity, maintaining health and safety begins with awareness, so we’re here to share information about how to deal with outdoor pests, including:
One key to eliminating mosquitoes around the home is to regularly empty and refill bird baths and other standing-water features, regularly check containers, such as plant trays, umbrella stands, and the like, for standing water, and replace water in pet dishes that are left outdoors. Mosquitoes mature in 10 days to two weeks, so being vigilant about removing standing water is effective in controlling mosquito populations.
Senior adults are among the most susceptible to West Nile virus and encephalitis, which are spread by infected mosquitoes, so eliminating new mosquito populations is a first line of defense.
Whether hiking in the woods or pulling weeds in the garden, you risk exposure to ticks, which live in grassy areas and attach to their hosts, often going undetected until a rash or fever appears.
Symptoms of illnesses associated with bites from infected ticks often include rash, fever, headache, and muscle aches. Spotted fever rickettsiosis, spread by infected dog ticks, is usually a one-time illness, leaving the victim with a permanent immunity. Adults over age 40 are most susceptible to bacterial infections, including anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, with rash, chills, and fever occurring 1-2 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick. Lyme disease affects all ages, and is most prevalent in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and parts of California.
While no diseases are directly associated with chigger bites, the intense itching that results from these tiny tick relatives often results in infection at the site when bacteria enters the open wound left from the host scratching the skin. Chiggers prefer warm, moist environments where they attach to weeds and tall grass, attaching to their hosts as they brush against vegetation.
When engaging in outdoor activities, use bug repellant containing DEET on any exposed skin, and permethrin on clothing, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Wear light-colored clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible, tucking pant legs into the tops of shoes or boots when hiking or walking through tall grass or brush.
After spending time outdoors – even in the garden – thoroughly inspect your body for ticks, and shower to remove any hidden “hitchhikers,” as well as chemicals from your insect repellant.
At Windsong, our homes and communities encourage Active Adults to pursue a variety of outdoor activities, where new friendships are formed and health is improved through regular exercise, as well as awareness – and prevention – of risks.
Welcome to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!