Spring on Nantucket
As we’re all aware, spring time on Nantucket presents us all with wonderful opportunities to spend more time outdoors working and recreating. Unfortunately, with the increase in outside activities comes the inescapable contact with mosquitoes and ticks! As such, contact with these insect pests may leave us with a mild irritation or worse, blood borne diseases, which may have long lasting consequences.
However, addressing the impact of these insect / arachnid problems may be lessened by following a few simple common sense guidelines.
Mosquito Bite Tips
Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
If you must be outdoors – wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.
Use an insect repellent that contains DEET.
Take extra care to cover the arms and legs of our younger islanders.
Make sure there are no caps or holes in screen doors or windows.
Reduce Mosquito Numbers
Get rid of standing water! Mosquitoes will breed in shallow standing water if left for more than 4 days.
Empty any cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or other water holding containers on your property paying special attention to discarded tires.
Clean clogged roof drains, and drill holes in the bottom of all containers that are routinely left outside.
Turn over plastic wading pools, wheel barrows, bird baths, etc. daily.
Landscape to eliminate standing water on your property
Also, currently on the market, there are a number of mosquito eradication devices which attract the mosquito and remove it from the environment.
If mosquitoes still are prevalent on your property, please notify the Nantucket Health Department at 508-228-7226 or the Nantucket Department of Public Works at 508-228-7244.
When visiting known tick habitats (the sides of dirt roads, high grass lands, areas of scrub oak, etc), wear light colored clothing and tuck your pants into your socks.
Use a topical spray or lotion containing DEET.
Following your adventure, check yourself over for ticks. Remember, the deer tick can be as small as a single freckle.
If you find a tick embedded in your skin, do not remove it yourself, see your family physician or go to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital Emergency Room for treatment.