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Prevention

There are some simple precautions you can take to reduce your risk of being bitten or stung by insects.

It's particularly important to follow this advice if you've had a bad reaction to an insect bite or sting in the past or you're travelling to an area where there's a risk of picking up a serious illness.

Basic precautions to prevent insect bites and stings

The following measures can help you avoid insect bites and stings:

Avoiding tick bites

Ticks are small spider-like creatures that are mainly found in woodland and heath areas. They attach to your skin, suck your blood and can cause Lyme disease in some cases.

You can reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick if you:

It's important to remove any ticks you find as soon as possible.

Extra precautions when travelling abroad

The risk of becoming seriously ill from an insect bite or sting in the UK is small, but in some parts of the world insects can carry serious diseases such as malaria and you need to be extra careful.

It can help to:

Read more about travel illnesses and vaccinations.

Insect infestations

If you've been bitten by fleas, mites or bedbugs, you may have an infestation in your home. Try to find the source of the infestation before taking steps to eliminate it.

Signs of an infestation

The following are signs of an infestation:

Speak to your vet if you're unsure whether your pet has fleas or mites.

Eliminating an infestation

Once you've identified the cause of the infestation, you'll need to eliminate it.

For flea infestations, treat the animal, its bedding, household carpets and soft furnishings with an insecticide. Thoroughly vacuum your carpets and soft furnishings.

For mite infestations, you should seek advice from your vet as aggressive treatment is required.

For bedbug infestations, your home will need to be thoroughly treated with an insecticide by a reputable pest control company. GOV.UK has information about how your local council can help.