Camping Is Fun, Pests Are Not: Keep Safe in the Great Outdoors


Story Updated: Jul 17, 2013

(NewsUSA) - For camping enthusiasts, the summer months provide endless opportunities to take advantage of the great outdoors. Children and adults alike unplug and unwind to enjoy backpacking, hiking and evenings under the stars. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds those who will spend more time partaking in open-air adventures to add insect repellent, hats and protective clothing to the packing list.

"Camping is a wonderful summer pastime," noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "To help ensure only positive memories of such trips, it's important for people to protect themselves from summer pests they are likely to encounter, such as ticks and mosquitoes, as well as wildlife."

Tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, are among the most common vector illnesses in the United States. Another biting insect, the mosquito, can transmit West Nile virus, dengue fever and other potentially harmful viruses. Henriksen advises that protection against these summer pests begins with "taking cover."

She suggests campers and hikers "Cover exposed skin with insect repellent containing at least 20 percent DEET, cover their heads to protect against ticks falling from tree branches and cover their bodies with long-sleeved shirts and long pants when possible to stave off bites."

NPMA also recommends that hikers stay on existing trails and minimize time spent in areas off the beaten path to avoid tick habitats such as long grass and dense shrubbery. Those enjoying time outdoors should inspect for ticks once inside and promptly remove any that may have latched on with fine-tipped tweezers.

Lastly, NPMA warns outdoor adventurers to protect against exposure to wildlife. While they may seem cute and furry from afar, squirrels, raccoons and other forest animals can be vectors of numerous diseases. In the summer of 2012, a young girl became infected with the bubonic plaque likely as a result of her and her clothing touching a dead squirrel and the insects around it. Additionally, a number of campers at a national park were sickened, several fatally, by Hantavirus after exposure to rodent droppings.

"For safety's sake, it's best to appreciate wild animals from afar and avoid all contact with them and their droppings," noted Henriksen.

For more information on pest-free summer fun, visit

Add a comment


Comment: 250 Characters Left

WBNG and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.

Featured Professional
Featured Professionals

Cardiovascular Services

Guthrie Cardiovascular Center

Interviews with Dr. Larson
Interviews with Dr. Ashok Shah
Interviews with Dr. Marica
Interviews with Dr. Sampson
Interviews with Dr. Deshmukh
Interviews with Dr. McClintock
Interviews with Dr. Rudzinski

Guthrie Cardiovascular Center

Consistently ranked among the top 100 cardiovascular hospitals by Thomson Reuters, Guthrie cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and vascular surgeons work together to ensure patients receive the most comprehensive care possible.

Offering cardiovascular care to the Twin Tiers for more than 40 years, Guthrie’s cardiac specialists and staff have offered the people of our region the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services possible, while earning national awards for quality and recognition for excellence.

Diagnostic & Non-Invasive Cardiology
Non-invasive cardiology includes all procedures that allow the cardiologist to obtain information about the heart without going through the skin or invading the body in any way. Many times these procedures are the first steps in evaluating a patient's condition. Guthrie provides diagnostic and non-invasive cardiology services, including multi-slice CT angiography, comprehensive mobile echocardiography services including stress echo, EKG, holter monitoring and nuclear stress testing to name a few.

Invasive & Interventional Cardiology
When non-invasive techniques don't provide all the answers, additional diagnostic procedures may be used to more clearly identify and treat cardiac problems. Within Guthrie’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, invasive and interventional cardiologists offer subspecialty diagnostic and therapeutic services to evaluate and treat cardiac conditions without traditional surgery. Guthrie interventional cardiologists perform over 100 peripheral vascular interventions, such as carotid angioplasty and stenting, each year, with a 95% technical success rate.

Electrophysiology & Pacing
The heart's conduction system, the system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat, can develop problems that interfere with the heart's ability to function properly. Electrophysiology Laboratory team offers complete electrophysiology and pacing services for treatment of arrhythmias – from palpitations and syncope to atrial fibrillation to more specialized rhythm abnormalities.

Cardiac Surgery
Surgery plays an important role in a comprehensive cardiac program. Whatever the patient's needs, they can be met by the Guthrie’s cardiac surgery team. Guthrie’s Cardiac Surgery team provides a comprehensive scope of surgical procedures for the treatment of diseases of the heart and chest. Commonly treated conditions include ischemic heart disease, ventricular aneurysms, valve dysfunction, rheumatic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, trauma, cardiac tumors and infection.

Thoracic Surgery
Providing the advanced surgical techniques and oncologic therapies, thoracic surgery at Guthrie is dedicated to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of non-cardiac diseases of the chest. We are able to apply the modern techniques of minimally invasive procedures including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) to many disease processes for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and other chest diseases.

Vascular & Endovascular Surgery
Guthrie’s Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery offers a full spectrum of services – from life-saving procedures to repair ruptured aneurysms to elective procedures to prevent stroke, provide relief from claudication and address symptoms of venous disease. The latest therapies and minimally invasive endovascular treatment are offered by our experienced vascular team.

Interviews with Dr. Larson