What's the Buzz?

By Health Day

This year's mild winter may give a boost to bugs that could make spring and summer more uncomfortable.

This past winter was marked by warm temperatures and little snow. Not surprisingly, experts are calling it one of the warmest winters on record.

The warm weather may have helped more mosquitoes survive during the winter, and they may start breeding earlier. The mild temperatures also allowed adult ticks to roam around all winter, too.

Mosquitoes and ticks leave itchy, painful bites and they can spread disease. But you can start protecting yourself now from early attacks.

To cut down on mosquito bites, experts recommend that you:

* Prevent water from gathering in your yard. Change the water in bird baths and wading pools weekly, and make sure that gutters, buckets, and other containers around your house aren't collecting water.

* Check your screen doors and window screens to make sure mosquitoes can't find a spot to enter.

* And use mosquito repellent as needed.

To help prevent tick bites:

* Avoid walking through bushes and piles of leaves

* Wear long pants, long sleeves, and socks when you're walking where ticks like to live.

* Use a tick repellent containing DEET or permethrin as needed.

* And put tick medicine or a tick collar on your dog or cat

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.

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