Have You Heard the Buzz?

The advertising biz is all about buzz – we love to make it, tap into it, or be it.

But the buzz we’re most concerned with at the moment is that being produced by our flighty friends of the Culicidae family, otherwise known as mosquitoes.

As warm weather arrives in New England (leisurely, begrudgingly, maddeningly behind schedule), it also marks the beginning of mosquito season, as well as that of the equally annoying little bugger, the tick.

Thanks to this year’s unusually warm winter, these critters are expected to plague us in higher than normal numbers, says the National Pest Management Association. (What climate change?) And they’re preparing for their annual feast on the main courses, humans and pets.

Mosquitoes and ticks, though, are more than just irritating pests. Their bites can be a whole lot worse than their buzz. They can carry viruses producing chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever, or bacteria leading to Lyme disease and plague, and parasites producing malaria and sleeping sickness.

So what’s a human to do? Bite back! Not literally, of course. But seriously, you should apply mosquito and tick repellent as often as possible. You can also wear protective clothing, especially in wooded areas or wetlands. And always check for – and remove – ticks from skin or pet fur.

(Full disclosure: We produced a mosquito and tick prevention campaign for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which includes suggestions and video about protecting your family and pets. We’re also working on a similar initiative for Newtown, CT.)

Have a happy, healthy summer, folks. And don’t let those darn mosquitoes and ticks bug you!