Dealing with Insects While on Vacation
What comes to mind when you think about vacationing? Trying new restaurants, swimming pools, souvenirs? As we plan for a trip and think about experiencing a new place, we don’t usually think about potential vector pests or insect related threats until it’s too late. The same forecast that lets you know what to pack is also an indicator of what vector pests you may encounter. Do you know what a vector pest is? Vectors are living organisms that transmit infectious diseases between humans or from animal to human. The most common and impactful vectors for humans are mosquitos and ticks.
Mosquitos-High Risk, No Reward
Mosquitos have been studied for decades across the globe. Dating back to prehistoric times, these pests even bothered our cave-dwelling ancestors. For centuries, these disease transmitting pests have reigned as the world’s deadliest animal. We may not be able to clear the world of mosquitos but we have developed the following ways to avoid them:
- Apply repellent over top of sunscreen, and reapply every four to six hours.
- Minimizing outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, though it is important to note that mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya are active throughout the day.
- Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
- Screening windows and doors, and patching torn screens.
- If there are concerns about mosquito activity on the property, contact a licensed pest control company or the local mosquito abatement district.
- People who are spending long amounts of time outdoors should also consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes to limit exposure to mosquitoes. The main type of mosquito that carries Zika is a daytime biter, so taking preventive measures at all times of the day is crucial.
- Anyone traveling outside of the United States should be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. Pack plenty of insect repellent and protective clothing. If a person falls ill upon returning home, seek prompt medical attention.
Top 10 Vector Sectors
Don’t let vector pests ruin your vacation. Keep yourself and your family protected by taking preventative steps. The National Pest Management Association has named the Top 10 Vector Sectors. Check out the infographic below to see if your vacation destination requires pest-prevention.
As you can see from the infographic above, the highs and lows of temperature and rain across the US has contributed to a variety of upticks in pests. Luckily for you, you are now informed, prepared, and ready to take on your vacation without pest-prevention knowledge. Have the best trip ever!