KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- When the weather becomes warmer and summer approaches, it's not uncommon for individuals to spend more time outdoors or walking in wooded areas. That's why it's truly important for people to begin protecting themselves against ticks and mosquitoes.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ticks are known to carry Lyme disease, which is characterized by fever, headache, fatigue and skin rashes. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system. Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and other known diseases.

To protect against these insects, the CDC advises people to choose products containing DEET, Picaridin, IR 3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. If applying an insect repellent on children, use products that contain 30 percent or less of the listed ingredients. Use insect repellent before going outdoors and be sure bring some along in case more needs to be reapplied. Wear long-sleeve garments, long pants and closed-toe shoes if walking in the woods to avoid tick and mosquito contact.

Although ticks live in the woods, they are also commonly found in your own backyard. Take steps to keep backyards safe by keeping play areas and playground equipment away from bushes, shrubs and other outdoor vegetation. Grass can also be treated with tick-control spays.

Don't bring ticks indoors! Be sure to check yourself and others (to include pets) for ticks before coming indoors. Check under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and scalp. If you locate a tick, use tweezers to carefully remove it. Watch for fever and a rash at the site of the tick bite, and seek medical care if these develop. Launder apparel and place it in the dryer to kill ticks attached to clothing.

By following these tips, you can keep you and your loved ones tick and mosquito free. For more information, call U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Safety Office at DSN 541-2302 or civilian at 0611-143-541-2302 or visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.go