ABC6 Summer Kickoff: Protecting yourself from summer pests
WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) -- Mary Gamelin of Warwick knows the danger posed by ticks firsthand.
"I have been bit a few times. I have been bit on the back of my neck a few years ago, and I thought what's this, it's itchy," said Gamelin.
That tell-tale bulls-eye rash led her to get treated for Lyme disease.
"Sure enough it was all red and round and I had to go on antibiotics," said Gamelin.
Now she's religious about checking herself and her dogs. She even bought them tick-repellent collars.
"We have a routine. Every morning before I put the collar on, they have their little time with me where I comb and brush them. It's a good idea to feel your dog throughout," said Gamelin.
If you find a tick, Bob Larence from Mosquito Joe of Rhode Island says tweezers are best to remove it.
"You want to grab it by the head area, not by the belly area, especially if they've been engorged on you," said Larence.
To keep away ticks and other bugs in the first place, it's key to use a good insect repellent containing DEET.
"You're going to want to tuck your socks over your pants. they actually have clothing now and sprays that you can put on the clothing and prevent the ticks from jumping on you and biting into you," said Larence.
That will help protect you from mosquitoes too, which can carry the potentially deadly EEE and West Nile viruses.
"Mosquitoes ruin a party every time," said Larence.
Before your next barbecue, be sure to remove standing water from your yard.
To make yourself less attractive to mosquitoes, it's a good idea to wear lighter-colored clothing.
"They actually can see you better if you're wearing dark clothing," said Larence.
Also, be aware that the more you sweat, the thirstier mosquitoes get.
"Lactic acid and other odors that are built into your sweat will attract the mosquitoes to you," said Larence.
Finally, you may want to trade in your beer for another beverage.
"When you drink the beer, it's going to create some type of chemical reaction in your body that's going to create an odor that they're attracted to," said Larence.
Larence also says people with type "O" blood are twice as likely to be bitten by a mosquito.
© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019