Illnesses from mosquito, tick or flea bites have tripled in the period from 2004 until 2016 reports the Center for Disease Control, CDC. Climate change resulting in higher average temperatures in many northern areas of the continental United States has expanded the range of mosquitos, fleas and ticks. And increasing urbanization provides more contact between the pests.
According to the CDC, in 2016, the most common tickborne diseases in the U.S. were Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis. The most common mosquito-borne viruses were West Nile, dengue, and Zika.
Though rare, plague was the most common disease resulting from the bite of an infected flea. Southern Colorado, northern New Mexico and northern Arizona see the greatest number of cases of plague.
According to Consumer Reports, insect repellant is one of your best safeguards against mosquitos and ticks. Products with 15 to 30 per cent deet work best, those with oil of lemon eucalyptus at a concentration of 30 per cent also worked well.
Other protective steps include wearing pants and long sleeve shirts, particularly on walks through forested areas. Tucking your pant legs into your socks will also limit accessibility, particularly by ticks. In your own back yard, keep the grass cut low and eliminate any standing water.