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Seen At 11: Warmer Weather May Mean Dangerous Bug Bites

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- Warm weather could not get to the Tri-State Area soon enough, but higher temperatures also mean bug session has officially arrived.

As CBS 2's Maurice DuBois reported Friday night, insects can be more than annoying. Some insects can be dangerous, and bites can lead to serious illness.

Few are looking forward to insect season.

"Dreading just the – I don't know, itching, biting," said tourist Rachel Julian.

"It's supposed to be really bad this season," said New York resident Laurie Schneider.

"I guess I'm not sweet enough," said New York resident Michael Linto. "I don't get a ton of bug bites."

But sweet or not, everyone is susceptible.

"People want to go out immediately, after such a long winter -- they're already coming in with bug bites,: said Dr. Kavita Mariwalla of Mariwalla dermatology.

Dermatologist Mariwalla warns that even simply scratching a mosquito bite can lead to bigger problems.

"We have a lot of bacteria underneath our nails, so you don't want to get our mosquito bites or bug bites that are seemingly harmless then become infected," Mariwalla said.

Mosquitoes the world over have been known to carry disease. And although disease-carrying mosquitoes rare in the Tri-State Area, they can transmit the West Nile virus.

Even more rarely, mosquitoes can transmit eastern equine encephalitis.

More likely to cause problems are ticks. They can cause uncomfortable bites, and the small deer tick may also carry Lyme disease.

"Anytime you think you have a tick bite, you want to monitor the area," Mariwalla said.

The big telltale sign is the bull's eye rash.

"Always make sure you're that checking each other, especially young children," Mariwalla said. "Always check their scalp because you can get ticks that stay in your scalp, and you might not notice that red the bull's eye."

Among other insect annoyances are fleas carried in by furry pets. They can leave small, red, itchy bites. And also leaving a mark these days are chiggers

"I had a number of patients that came in having gone out to the East End of Long Island in tall grasses, coming in with very, very itchy red bumps all over their lower legs," Mariwalla said.

To help repel most bugs and insects, doctors recommend products that contain 20 percent DEET>

"Scratching is almost impossible to resist because they are so itchy, so making sure you have an antibiotic ointment and some good steroid cream is really key," Mariwalla said.

For young children, doctors recommend that you put the spray into your hands and then rub it on them. Repellent is not recommended for children under a year old.

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