GREENSBORO, N.C. — The hot summer weather comes with pool parties, grilling, and fun in the sun.
It also comes with an influx of blood-sucking insects, such as mosquitoes and ticks.
Mosquitoes live in standing water, such as pools, ponds, and gutters.
They're also attracted to to the heat.
Most mosquitoes become active when the average temperature is above 70 degrees.
But, only female mosquitoes bite to acquire protein to make their eggs.
Ticks are another blood-sucking insect most active during the summer months.
They live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas.
Mosquitoes and ticks can do more than make you itch due to a bite.
The pesky insects can also transmit dangerous diseases to humans and animals.
According to the CDC, West Nile virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States.
People can also get sick from less common viruses spread by mosquitoes, like La Crosse encephalitis or St. Louis encephalitis.
In rare cases, these can cause severe disease or even be deadly.
As for ticks, health officials say, the insect can spread several diseases, including lyme disease.
The CDC says tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms treatable at home to severe infections requiring hospitalization.
Although easily treated with antibiotics, these diseases can be difficult for physicians to diagnose.
The good news is you can protect yourself and your children from summer's itchiest pests by using insect repellent with DEET.
You can also wear long-sleeved shirts or pants to avoid insect bites.
If you have a dog, you might want to consider using a tick collar and avoid going outside between dusk and dawn.
You should see a doctor if you begin to experience severe symptoms due to an insect bite.
That includes a large rash, fever, headache, or signs of an infection.
For more information about preventing insect bites, click here.