One of the inevitable drawbacks of summer is the annual crop of unwanted visitors that turn up—ticks and mosquitos. Both insects are known for as carriers of disease, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. So what should you do to protect yourself when you go outside?

Consider these insect-safety tips: Assuming you can withstand the heat, wear long sleeves and pants for the best shields against ticks (and do an extra “tick check” before heading inside); check pets regularly for ticks and insects, since they can bring them indoors; and finally, use a bug repellent to ward off mosquitoes. While a bug spray with DEET (the common chemical in insect repellents) was once the go-to recommendation, we suggest trying lemon eucalyptus oil.

"A combination of education and taking the right precautions are the best ways to prevent mosquito- and tick-borne diseases," said Dr. George Ruggiero, chief of family medicine and director of medical education at Peconic Bay Medical Center in New York in a news release. "Always be cognizant of your surroundings and diligent in your self-examination in order to prevent any serious reactions."

The Centers for Disease Control recently acknowledged this oil to be as effective as the chemical alternative (plus, DEET has some experts questioning its safety due to potential side effects on the central nervous system). Do you have any other natural bug-repellent tricks?



HealthDay: Watch Out for Disease-Carrying Insects This Summer