Department of Health

Mosquitoes and Ticks

Take precautions against mosquitoes and ticks.

June 1, 2018 | 2 min reading time

This article is 2 years old. It was published on June 1, 2018.


Protect Yourself Against Diseases from Mosquitoes and Ticks

As summer approaches and individuals begin spending more time outdoors we need to remember to take precautions to protect ourselves against mosquitoes and ticks, and the diseases they carry. Mosquitoes and ticks are more than just pesky bugs. They can carry diseases such as Zika and West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

The City of St. Louis Department of Health is reminding everyone to keep in mind the 4Ds for protection against mosquitos; Drain, Dress, DEET and Dawn/Dusk.

DRAIN--Mosquitoes breed in water! Drain any standing water in your yard each week. Bird baths, clogged gutters and kiddie pools are common breeding sites.

DRESS--Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors. Spray clothing with insect repellent, since mosquitoes can bite through clothing.

DEET--All day, every day: Whenever you are outside, use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. Use an approved repellent according to its label.

DAWN/DUSK--Limit time spent outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active and feeding.

Use the following tips to avoid ticks and tick-borne diseases:

  • Avoid Tick Infested Areas, walk in the center of trails to avoid overhanging grass and brush.
  • Dress Properly, wear light-colored clothing and tuck pants into socks.
  • Apply Insect Repellent, apply insect repellents containing 20-50% DEET as directed on the label. 
  • Spray repellents with permethrin on clothes only, not skin.
  • Do Tick Checks, examine clothing and skin frequently for ticks. (Check pets too)
  • Carefully Remove Attached Ticks Immediately, ticks can infect in ten hours or less. Prompt treatment can prevent serious illness or death.

For additional tips on protections against mosquitoes and ticks visit and

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