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A Fall Reminder about Ticks, Mosquitoes

September 30, 2022

Prime tick and mosquito season is winding down, but Pennsylvania Department of Health officials say there’s still cause for concern.

This week, state health officials are reminding Pennsylvanians to protect themselves against tick-borne illnesses and mosquitoes as they are still a threat as the weather turns cooler.

"Autumn is a wonderful season to spend time outdoors and participate in many activities, such as hiking and observing the fall foliage, but we want to make sure people protect themselves when they are outside," said Dr. Denise Johnson, acting secretary of health and physician general.

The state offered the following best practices to avoid tick-borne illness and mosquito bites:

  • Cover exposed skin
  • Avoid tick-infested habitats (dense areas with shrubbery or tall grass) and remove areas of standing water around your home (clogged gutters, discarded tires, poorly maintained swimming pools, flowerpots, etc.)
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Tuck your pants into your socks and use a federal Environmental Protection Agency-approved insect repellent
  • Treat your clothing with a product containing permethrin to repel ticks.

In Pennsylvania, there have been 14 human West Nile virus (WNV) cases including two deaths, one each in Philadelphia and Franklin County. The mosquitoes that transmit WNV are most active at dawn and dusk.

State officials said they will continue mosquito surveillance until the first frost of fall occurs. Tick surveillance will continue throughout the fall and winter on warm days above 40 degrees.

"Simple, commonsense actions can prevent mosquito and tick bites and can prevent the spread of diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease," Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary Ramez Ziadeh said.

HAP joins organizations throughout the state urging Pennsylvanians to take precautions against tick-borne illnesses and mosquitoes this fall.

Additional information on ticks and mosquitoes is available online.