Health Department Reminds Residents To Avoid Ticks, Mosquitoes

The Berrien County Health Department is reminding everyone to take steps to avoid bug-borne illnesses now that summer is here. Spokesperson Gillian Conrad tells WSJM News warm weather means mosquitoes and ticks. The health department tracks them each summer.

“We actually go our and collect the bugs,” Conrad said. “We track them and gather them, and identify what species of ticks and mosquitoes we have here in Berrien County to get a better understanding of what illnesses could be present within our community.”

With ticks, the health department is concerned about Lyme disease.

“When you are enjoying a hike in the woods, or even just playing in your backyard, please be mindful of ticks that could hitch a ride on your clothes and then attach themselves to your skin. It’s important that people are doing tick checks when coming back indoors.”

Mosquitoes bring a host of illnesses including west Nile virus and sometimes eastern equine encephalitis. Conrad says the Berrien County Health Department hasn’t seen any sign of EEE this year, but it advises everyone to wear insect repellant that contains DEET and to remove any standing water from their property to reduce mosquito populations. She also notes mosquitoes and other bugs have not been shown to carry COVID-19, a question the health department is frequently asked.