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This year might be itchier than usual for travelers throughout regions of the United States, according to entomologist Chester Moore, who works for the federal Centers for Disease Control in Ft. Collins, Colo. Blame it on the moisture left in the wake of the West's heavy winter rains and the East's heavy snows, which can provide ideal breeding grounds, especially for mosquitoes and ticks. Going abroad for pleasure or business travel won't solve the problem either, said Moore.
May 23, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia
Here's a summer reminder: Chipmunks and squirrels can carry infected fleas and plague, a bacterial disease people can contract through close contact with the furry animals, health officials warned. “Plague is naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation ... so we all need to be cautious around animals that can carry it,” El Dorado County Public Health Officer Dr. Alicia Paris-Pombo said in a statement Thursday. Because of the increased plague activity in the Tahoe Basin area last fall, El Dorado County health officials have been urging the public to take precaution this summer.
August 24, 2009 | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon
Which goes on first, insect repellent or sunscreen? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says "sunscreens should be applied to the skin before insect repellents." But the CDC also advises not to use combination products containing repellents and sunscreens: "DEET-containing insect repellents may decrease the effectiveness of sunscreens, and sunscreens may increase absorption of DEET through the skin." We also discovered research demonstrating that DEET and the sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone (benzophenone-3)
June 18, 1991 | KATHLEEN DOHENY
In summer, the great outdoors can turn grim quickly when flies, mosquitoes and other pests decide to make your picnic or campground theirs. Folklore is filled with natural routes to debugging: Give up sugar and alcoholic beverages and you'll never be bugged again; smear yourself with garlic and watch ants and mosquitoes find someone less stinky to bite; mist thyme tea at your next picnic to keep flies away.
June 17, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
West Nile-infected mosquitoes have been found in pools of stagnant water in east Long Beach and Cerritos, the first group of insects with the virus discovered this year in Los Angeles County, officials said. A crow infected with the virus was found late last month near Cal State Long Beach.
August 28, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Catnip, the stuff that drives felines wild, also appears to drive away mosquitoes, preliminary research suggests. Laboratory experiments at Iowa State University suggest that the oil in the catnip plant is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the chemical in many commercial insect repellents. The bigger question--at least for non-cat lovers--might be whether such a repellent would turn humans into cat magnets.
May 17, 1992 | Sue Facter
Where there's water, there are mosquitoes. Here's what five Los Angeles residents with experience in the matter recommend to ward them off: Bob Nemecek, fishing-boat rental agent. "I bought six mosquito fish recently for the fish pond outside my house. They're supposed to eat mosquito larvae, and they seem to work pretty well." Maria Ellingsen, actress. "I'm from Iceland, and I spend time there on something we call Mosquito Lake. I always take large doses of vitamin B. It really helps." Dr.
May 16, 2004 | Kathleen Doheny, Special to The Times
Entomologists hesitate to predict how bad mosquitoes and other pests will be this season for travelers headed to national parks, the coasts or other areas where bugs can be plentiful. That's because the proliferation of the pesky pests depends on rainfall and other factors. But on one point most bug experts agree: This year, California may be a prime target for West Nile virus, a disease transmitted when mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds bite humans.
June 6, 2005 | Valerie Ulene, Special to The Times
It's hard to hide from mosquitoes. Short of staying indoors, the best way to protect against their irritating bites -- and the West Nile virus -- is by applying an insect repellent to your skin. But too few people bother. Nationwide, only about 40% of people routinely use mosquito repellent, data has shown; in Pacific states, such as California, usage is significantly lower, at 23%.
August 10, 2004 | Bonnie Obremski
Add the West Nile virus hotline to the speed dial. The state Department of Fish and Game is warning outdoor enthusiasts in Southern California about exposure. Don't touch sick or dead animals. Move carcasses with a plastic bag or gloves. Prepare and cook meat properly to avoid infection. Wear pants and long sleeves on hikes and use insect repellent with DEET to ward off mosquitoes, primary virus carriers. Some victims experience flu-like symptoms, but less than 1% require hospitalization.
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