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Climate scientists: tick and mosquito diseases likely to rise

Tick and mosquito season is upon us, and scientists predict that changes in climate could make future seasons worse. Many adults reported hearing about it last week.  

Who is hearing about tick and mosquito diseases? 

Of 515 adults surveyed in MO, NE, CO, MD, and TX, 31% reported hearing in the last 7 days that tick- and mosquito-borne diseases were increasing. African American adults were more likely than Whites to hear it (25% vs 12%), as were those over age 30 vs. younger than 30 (34% vs 20%). In mid-April, only 23% had reported hearing it.

Among St. Louis respondents (n=152), only 18% reported hearing in the last 7 days that diseases from mosquitoes and ticks were rising.

Why could tick and mosquito diseases be rising?  

Cases of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. have more than doubled in the last 20 years. Ticks and mosquitoes are found in wet and warmer places and breed in standing water. As temperature and humidity increase, their habitats expand. Although both can spread multiple diseases to humans, the most common in the U.S. are Lyme disease (from ticks) and West Nile (from mosquitoes). In St. Louis, tick season begins in March and mosquito season begins in April.

How can you help? 

Community organizations in St. Louis can share the resources below to help residents protect against pests by removing standing water, securing building entrances, wearing protective clothing outside, and using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent if necessary.

Click here to a view printable PDF with tips for avoiding tick and mosquito bites.

This week’s report is based on responses from a panel of adult residents of Baltimore, MD (n=175), St. Louis, MO (n=152), Omaha, NE (n=88), Colorado (n=99), and Texas (n=4) surveyed from Saturday, May 4 to Monday, May 6, 2024. Explore these data and more at iHeardSTL

Download the graphics below to share about this topic.

Suggested Caption:

It’s the start of mosquito season for many places in the U.S. including Missouri. Use these tips to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and Malaria.  

#iHeardSTL #MosquitoSeason #Mosquito

Suggested Caption:

Don’t let a tick make you sick! Wear protective gear (long pants, sleeves and socks) and stay away from tick habitats (long grasses) when possible. Learn more on CDC’s website.

#iHeardSTL #TickSeason #Ticks

Suggested Caption:

For all outdoor-lovers, these tips are for you:  
– Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks
-Use EPA-registered insect repellent
-Replace outdoor lights with “bug” lights

#iHeardSTL #TickSeason #MosquitoSeason

Suggested Caption:

Always do a tick check after outdoor hikes and activities! If you find one, remove it with tweezers.

#iHeardSTL #TickDefense #TickSeason #Ticks

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