How to Prevent Mosquito and Tick Bites

Key points

  • Bites from mosquitoes and ticks can make you sick!
  • Mosquitoes and ticks can spread germs that cause diseases like West Nile and Lyme disease.
  • You can Fight the Bite and learn how to protect yourself and loved ones from mosquito and tick bites.
Graphic showing a range of insect repellent options.


Know where to expect ticks

Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Walk in the center of trails to prevent contact with ticks.

Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active from April to September in the United States. Use the Tick Bite Data Tracker to learn when people in different parts of the country may be at highest risk for tick bites.

Know where to expect mosquitoes

Mosquitoes live throughout the continental United States and U.S. territories. About 12 types of mosquitoes can spread germs through bites. Because you can't tell which mosquitoes could be spreading germs, take steps to protect yourself. Mosquitoes bite day and night.

Risk factors

Everyone is at risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and ticks and getting sick from the germs they can spread. Certain groups of people are at higher risk for disease than others. Understand your risk of vector-borne diseases.

Prevention steps and strategies

Before going outside

Insect Repellent Chatbot

Can of insect repellent on top of a backpack.
Use the insect repellent chatbot to learn about repellents.

The Insect Repellent Chatbot will guide you through questions and answers about insect repellents, including how to choose a repellent, how to apply repellent, and other ways to prevent tick and mosquito bites.

After coming inside

  • Check your body for ticks after being outdoors.
  • Remove an attached tick as soon as possible.
  • Take a shower within 2 hours of coming indoors to help wash off unattached ticks and to check your body for ticks.
  • Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing.

Tick bite bot

A smiling cartoon tick illustration.
Use the tick bite bot after you have been bitten for recommendations.

A tool to assist people in removing attached ticks and seeking health care, if appropriate, after a tick bite.

About the Tool

Around your home

  • Use air conditioners and screens to keep mosquitoes from coming inside.
  • Empty standing water. Mosquitoes lay eggs in or near water.
  • Get more tips on how to control mosquitoes.

Bite prevention for travelers

Overseas travelers should be prepared to prevent mosquito and tick bites. They can spread germs not common or not present in the continental United States.

Prevent ticks on pets

Pets can get sick from germs spread by ticks. Vaccines are not available for most tickborne diseases that pets can get. Vaccines don’t keep pets from bringing ticks into your home. Protect your pets by learning how to prevent ticks on pets.

Talk to your veterinarian about:

  • The best tick prevention products for your pet
  • Tickborne diseases in your area

Note: Cats are extremely sensitive to a variety of chemicals. Do not apply any tick prevention products to your cats without first asking your veterinarian.