Insect Bites

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english mosquitosIllnesses Spread by Mosquitos
A bite from an infected mosquito can transmit disease.  In Wisconsin, mosquitos are most active during the months of May through September.  Anyone can get sick from an illness transmitted by a mosquito, but risk is highest in children, older adults, and anyone with a compromised immune system.

  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis
  • Jamestown Canyon West Nile virus
  • La Crosse Encephalitis
  • Saint Louis Encephalitis
  • West Nile Virus
espanolinformacion en Espanol 


Mosquito Bite Prevention Tips

There are many steps you can take to protect yourself from mosquito bites

  • Use repellent on skin and clothing
  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing
    • cover exposed skin during peak mosquito activity hours (usually dusk and dawn)
  • Avoid direct contact with mosquitos
    • place screens on windows and doors
    • stay indoors during peak mosquito activity hours
  • Reduce mosquito breeding habitats
    • remove and prevent standing water in your yard
  • Apply pesticides outdoors

tick bite

Illnesses Spread by Ticks
Illnesses spread by ticks are common in Wisconsin.  Not all ticks spread illness, and you won't get sick from every tick bite.  However, it's important to stay aware of ticks, the illnesses they cause, and how to prevent bites.  

  • Lyme Disease
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Erlichiosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Spotted Fever Group (Rickettsiosis)
  • Powassan Virus
  • Borrelia miyamotoi
  • Tularemia
Ticks must bite you to spread their germs.  They also must remain attached to you for at least 24 to 36 hours to spread most germs.  If you remove a tick from your body, testing the tick for disease is not typically recommended.  There are over 15 types of ticks in Wisconsin alone, however, most human tick bites in Wisconsin are from deer ticks or wood ticks.

Tick Removal
tick removal

What if I was bite by a tick?

Tick bites can be unpleasant and can sometimes cause illness, however, most people do not need to see a doctor immediately after being bitten by a tick.  Taking antibiotics in usually not recommended to prevent illness caused by ticks after being bitten, but it can be helpful in some circumstances. 

How do I know if I should see a healthcare provider?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Tick Bite Bot is a new interactive tool that can help you determine if you should see a doctor.  Whether or not you see a doctor immediately after a bite, you should monitor for symptoms for 30 days after removing the tick.  Call a healthcare provider right away if you develop any of the following symptoms within 30 days after being bitten.
  • rash
  • fever
  • new or worsening fatigue (tiredness)
  • new or worsening muscle pain
  • joint swelling and pain
For more information about ticks in Wisconsin, visit Wisconsin Department of Health Services Fight the Bite webpage.

Tick Bite Prevention Tips

There are many steps you can take to protect yourself from tick bites including; 

  • Use repellent on skin and clothing
  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing
    • cover exposed skin, wear light clothing, tuck in shirt and pant legs 
  • Avoid direct contact with ticks
    • walk in the center of trails
    • don't brush up against plants on the edge of trails
    • avoid wooded and brushy areas with tall grass and leaf litter
  • Check for ticks after being outdoors
    • do full body tick checks after being outdoors paying special attention to armpits, behind knees, scalp, ears, belly button and groin
    • Check clothing, gear, and pets for ticks before going inside

Greendale Public Health Department Facebook: What am I?

Protecting Yourself from Summer's Supervillains YouTube series:

by Milwaukee County Parks (Wehr Nature Center), Greendale Health Department, and UW- Madison Extension
Taking on Ticks Episode 1: Meet the Stealth Supervillain
Taking on Ticks Episode 2: Identifying Wisconsin Ticks
Taking on Ticks Episode 3: Lyme Disease and the Life Cycle of the Deer Tick
Taking on Ticks Episode 4: Why are There So Many Ticks?
Taking on Ticks Episode 5: How to Protect Yourself from Ticks
Taking on Ticks Episode 6: Making a Tick Kit
Taking on Ticks Episode 7: How to Safely Remove a Tick