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Bug off!

Photo: RealPeopleGroup/gettyimages

If your summer plans include outdoor activities, make sure you’re prepared for uninvited pests that can bite or sting.

The most common summer pest? The mosquito. A dozen of the more than 200 types found in the United States and its territories can spread viruses such as West Nile, Zika and chikungunya to people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A first step is applying an insect repellent containing DEET to your skin and clothing. And wear closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

These steps can also help protect you from ticks, which are commonly found in tall grass, shrubs and wooded areas. Boots are a good idea, too. And light-colored clothing can make it easier to spot ticks that have crawled on you.

Thoroughly check your skin and clothing before returning indoors. Check your pets also. Then, shower to remove any ticks that might have eluded detection.

If your outdoor time is spent gardening or doing yard work, you might disturb bees, wasps and hornets that have nested around your home and yard.

Lastly, avoid using certain products that may attract bugs and insects, such as perfume.

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