Preventing Insect Bites, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease

Why is this important?

Insect bites can cause both minor reactions and cause vector-borne diseases including Lyme disease and West Nile virus. Climate change is increasing the likelihood of the spread of vector-borne diseases in Canada. Prevention methods can be effective in reducing bite exposures.

What actions can we take?

  • Follow public health advice to prevent children’s exposure to insect bites and to reduce insect habitat around the centre.
    • Be aware of outdoor settings where ticks and mosquitoes may be found.
    • Get rid of standing water on your property by emptying water in toys, flowerpots, birdbaths and other objects where mosquitoes can breed.
  • Take actions to minimize the need for insect repellents.
    • Avoid outdoor play during peak biting times (the hours between dusk and dawn).
    • Encourage families to provide protective clothing (lightweight, light-coloured clothing that covers the body, long-sleeved shirt and long pants as removable top layers, as well as shoes, socks and a hat).
  • When an insect repellent is used:
    • Only use repellents approved for use in Canada. Approved repellants will have  a Pest Control Products [PCP] Act number on the product label.
    • Read and carefully follow all label instructions.
    • When using sprays, never spray directly into the face. Instead, spray on hands first and then apply to face.