A Reserve Citizen Airman hikes through underbrush at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, July 11, 2021.

Insects, Rodents & Snakes

A vile full of ticks found on the biologists from Fort Campbell Fish and Wildlife on Fort Camp-bell, Ky. June 4. The biologists preform tick checks whenever they return from the field and place the ticks in the vile to go to the Environmental Health Center. (US Army photo by Sgt. Pat-rick Kirby, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)


  • Keep lawns well-mown
  • Ticks get Lyme disease from mice, so it's important to eliminate the mouse habitats around your yard, such as wood and rock piles
  • Avoid exposure to wooded, overgrown areas
  • Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, long pants tucked into socks, and shoes
  • Use insect repellent such as DEET on the body or Permethrin on clothes - review safety information on these products and do not use on children under 3 years old
  • Perform tick checks after coming in from outside.  The risk of getting Lyme disease is greater the longer a tick is attached.
  • Remove any ticks by grasping them with tweezers between the head of the tick and the skin, pulling firmly but gently away.
A raccoon prowls during the night time hours, November 19, 2011, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. Several acers of pristine federally protected land located on Travis provide an ideal environment for many species of flora and fauna.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Heide Couch)

Rodents & Wild Animals

  • Dead and live animals can spread diseases such as Rat Bite Fever and Rabies
  • Avoid contact with wild or stray animals
  • Avoid contact with rats or rat-contaminated buildings. If you can’t avoid contact, wear protective gloves and wash your hands regularly
  • Get rid of dead animals as soon as possible
  • If bitten/scratched, get medical attention immediately
An insect crawls over the bloom of a daisy fleabane plant at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., April 7, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Insects & Spiders

  • To protect yourself from biting and stinging insects, wear long pants, socks, and long-sleeved shirts
  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Picaridin
  • Treat bites and stings with over-the-counter products that relieve pain and prevent infection
  • Avoid fire ants; their bites are painful and cause blisters
  • Severe reactions to fire ant bites (chest pain, nausea, sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling or slurred speech) require immediate medical treatment
A Taiwanese Habu Snake, or Protobothrops Mucrosquamatus, watches onlookers from the corner of a terrarium at the Entomology Pest Management Section, June 5, 2019, At Kadena Air Base, Japan. The Taiwanese Habu snake is an invasive species that is not only harmful to the ecosystem, but also venomous and poses a danger to humans on the island. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)


  • Watch where you place your hands and feet when removing debris. If possible, don’t place your fingers under debris you are moving. Wear heavy gloves.
  • If you see a snake, step back and allow it to proceed.
  • Wear boots at least 10 inches high.
  • Watch for snakes sunning on fallen trees, limbs or other debris.
  • A snake’s striking distance is about 1/2 the total length of the snake.
  • If bitten, note the color and shape of the snake’s head to help with treatment.
  • Keep bite victims still and calm to slow the spread of venom in case the snake is poisonous. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Do not cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom. Apply first aid: lay the person down so that the bite is below the level of the heart, and cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.