Man applies insect repellent on his hand against palm trees.

5 Ways to Keep Mosquitoes and Ticks Away

Warm weather in North Carolina means more outdoor fun—but also more mosquitoes and ticks. Protect yourself with these tips.

Warm weather in North Carolina means more outdoor fun—but also more mosquitoes and ticks.

"Ticks and mosquitoes are everywhere in North Carolina. And their bites can cause serious diseases." 
-Alexis M. Barbarin, a state public health entomologist

Fight the Bite

Protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes with these tips:

  1. Use repellent that contains DEET on exposed skin, or other EPA approved repellents. Use caution when applying to children.
  2. Treat your clothing with a pesticide called permethrin. This includes boots, pants and socks. 
  3. Check yourself and your children for ticks if you've been outside.
  4. Consider your surroundings:
    • To reduce tick habitats, try these landscaping techniques
    • To reduce mosquito breeding, "Tip and Toss" standing water at least once a week from:
      • Flowerpots
      • Gutters
      • Buckets
      • Pool covers
      • Pet water dishes
      • Discarded tires
      • Birdbaths
    • Install or repair screens on windows and doors and use air conditioning if possible. 
  5. If you're traveling to an area where exotic mosquito-borne diseases occur:

The 'DEETs' on Diseases Caused by Ticks and Mosquitoes

In 2022, North Carolina saw almost 700 cases of tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses. These are also called vector-borne diseases.

Tick-Borne Diseases

Most tick-borne diseases occur between June and September. Lyme disease was most reported last year, followed by:

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Alpha-gal syndrome
  • Southern tick-associated rash illness, or STARI

These diseases can cause fever, headache, rashes, flu-like illness and more severe symptoms.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

The mosquito-borne diseases seen most often in North Carolina are:

  • West Nile virus (WNV)
  • Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE)
  • La Crosse encephalitis (LAC)

LAC is especially prevalent in North Carolina. Between 2012 and 2021, the state had the second-highest number of cases in the country.

Traveling outside the United States has caused most of the mosquito-borne diseases in N.C. This includes cases of malaria, dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

Learn more about vector-borne diseases in N.C.



Related Press Release: NCDHHS Urges North Carolinians to "Fight the Bite" with Insect Repellant and Other Prevention Tools to Avoid Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Disease

Related Topics: