For more information on preventing tick and mosquito-borne illnesses call the Environmental Health Division at 336-703-3225.

Forsyth County Department of Health is actively following the actions and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Carolina Division of Public Health regarding the Zika virus and other insect borne diseases.

Summer is here and so are insects. Insects such as mosquitoes and ticks are a nuisance and can cause a number of illnesses such as:

Steps to prevent mosquito (and other bug) bites:

  • Wear light colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • If you are overseas or outside, sleep under a mosquito bed net.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents
  • Video: How to Apply Insect Repellant
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin treated items.
  • Check yourself for ticks and bug bites as soon as you come inside
  • Remove any standing water in flower pots, children's toys, old tires, etc.
  • Clean and chlorinate pools
  • Clear weeds and underbrush and trim shrubs
  • Mow your lawn as often as necessary to keep the grass from growing too tall




The CDC recommends avoiding wooded, bushy and high grass areas, especially during the summer months. If you do plan on spending some time in the great outdoors this summer (as you should!), just try to walk in the center of trails while hiking and wear a bug spray with 20 to 30 percent DEET on clothing. Light colored clothing is helpful, too, as it makes ticks easier to spot, and treat gear like clothing, tents and boots with an insect repellant with 0.5% permethrin. After spending time outside, make sure to do a full body tick check — and take an extra-long look at areas where ticks like to hide, including under arms, in and around ears, in belly buttons, in the groin area and in your hair.

So, what happens if you do get a tick? Do not use petroleum jelly, hot matches, nail polish remover or other products to remove a tick! Ticks can be removed with tweezers or, if that doesn’t work, by massaging them. See information on how to remove a tick.