Vector Control Resources for Ticks and Mosquitoes
Learn about what you can do to protect yourself, family, pets, and home from ticks and mosquitoes
Photo : CDC

Protect Yourself

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While it makes sense to take preventive measures against exposure to ticks and mosquitoes all year long, it is important to pay extra attention during warm months when these animals are most active. You can find strategies and guidance below on how to protect your home and family from exposure.

Strategies to Avoid Ticks

Keeping Ticks Off Your Person

Keeping Ticks Out of Your Home


  • You should always do a full-body check after spending time in areas likely to have ticks, such as wooded or brushy areas with tall grass or leaves. Ticks can often be found under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and in the hair. Showering shortly after returning indoors can also help to rinse off or find ticks that might be crawling on you.

  • Use an insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for effectiveness. The EPA has an online tool that can help you find a repellent that is best for you. Always read and follow the directions when applying repellent.

  • Wear clothing that covers your arms, legs, and feet, and tuck the legs of your pants into your socks. This can help keep ticks from getting underneath your clothing. Consider treating your clothes with permethrin - a repellent that kills ticks on contact. You can purchase clothing already treated with permethrin, or treat clothing yourself. TickEncounter.org provides more information about treating clothing to repel ticks.

Things that can bring ticks inside your home:
  • Check your pets for ticks regularly if they spend time outside. Ask your veterinarian about using a tick preventive product on your pet.

  • Check your gear after returning from outdoor activities. Ticks can catch a ride on your gear and end up on you later.

  • Tumble dry clothes on high heat after being outside.

Protecting your yard from ticks:
  • Remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around your home and at the edge of your lawns

  • You can create a barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn and wooded areas. This helps keep ticks from migrating into your yard. 

  • Mow the lawn frequently

  • Stack wood neatly and in a dry area to discourage rodents that can carry ticks. You can also use fences to keep unwanted animals that can carry ticks (such as deer and raccoon) from entering your yard.

  • Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees
Source: CDC
You can find more information on preventing exposure to ticks and tick bites at the following websites:
If you find a tick that has bitten you, remove it using tweezers. Grasp the tick close to the skin, and pull upward with even pressure - don't twist or jerk. Disinfect your skin using rubbing alcohol both before and after removing the tick.

"I found a tick, do I get it tested?"

This is a common question for individuals who are bitten by a tick and want to know if that tick carried an infection. Although some groups offer tick testing services, the CDC does not generally recommend sending a tick out for testing.

The reasons for this include:
  • Laboratories that conduct tick testing are not required to have the high standards of quality control used by clinical diagnostic laboratories. Results of tick testing should not be used for treatment decisions.
  • Positive results from the tick do not always mean that you have been infected.
  • Negative results can lead to false assurance. You may have been unknowingly bitten by a different tick that was infected.
  • If you have been infected, you will probably develop symptoms before results of the tick test are available. If you do become ill, you should not wait for tick testing results before beginning appropriate treatment.
Resources from the New York State Department of Health
Watch these videos to learn more about tick prevention and efforts the NYSDOH is taking to monitor tick populations in New York State.
Tick Prevention - Removal
Tick Prevention - Clothing & Repellents
Tick Prevention - Collection & Laboratory Testing

Strategies to Avoid Mosquitoes

Keeping Mosquitoes Off Your Person

Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Your Home

  • Use an insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for effectiveness. The EPA has an online tool that can help you find a repellent that is best for you. Always read and follow the directions when applying repellent.

  • If you are using sunscreen, put it on before you apply insect repellent.

  • Wear clothing that covers your arms, legs, and feet. Avoid tight clothes that mosquitoes can bite through. Consider treating your clothes with permethrin.

  • Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting when outside.
  • Use screens on windows and doors, being sure to repair holes in any screens

  • Remove standing water!

This keeps mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near your home. Places you should always check for standing water can include:

  • Tires
  • Buckets and wheelbarrows
  • Planters and flowerpots
  • Pools, birdbaths, and pet water dishes (replace water weekly)
  • Trash containers
  • Drains, rain gutters, and ditches

  • Make sure water collection areas are tightly sealed. This includes cisterns, rain barrels, and septic tanks. You can also use larvicides (agents that kill mosquitoes in their larval stage) to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.

  • Mow the lawn frequently, and cut down weeds that grow near your home's foundation.
You can find more information on preventing exposure to mosquitoes and mosquito bites at the following websites: