Tick Bite Prevention Week


With spring approaching, Teton County Weed and Pest District urges residents and visitors to take steps to avoid tick bites and tick-borne diseases in recognition of Tick Bite Prevention Week, which takes place March 24 - 30.

Worldwide, mosquitoes kill more people than any other animal through vector-borne diseases, but in the United States 77% of vector-borne diseases are transmitted by ticks. More than 40,000 individuals are diagnosed with a tick-borne disease each year in the United States.

Pathogens that cause diseases such as Colorado Tick Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and tick paralysis can be spread when an infected tick bites a host. Hosts may include humans, pets and other mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Tick found in a dog ear
“While more well known tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease have not been acquired in Wyoming, Wyoming, and Sublette County in particular, has the highest incidence rate of Colorado Tick Fever in the United States,” said Mikenna Smith, Teton County Weed and Pest Entomologist. “It is important to protect yourself and your pets from tick bites and tick-borne diseases whenever you are outdoors.”

There are simple steps to prevent tick bites:

  • Apply EPA-registered insect repellent and reapply as directed. Look for products containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
  • Wear loose-fitting long clothing including long sleeves and long pants.
  • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. Walk in the center of trails to prevent contact with ticks.
  • Check for ticks. Conduct a full body tick check after being outdoors.
  • Take a shower. Showering within two hours of coming indoors can reduce the risk of tick-borne diseases by washing off unattached ticks and is a good time to conduct a tick check.
  • Tumble dry clothes on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing.
  • Prevent ticks on dogs. Talk to your vet about tick prevention products for your dog. Check your pets for ticks daily. Do not apply tick prevention products to your cats without first asking your vet.

Remove an attached tick as soon as possible to prevent or reduce pathogen transmission. Use fine-point tweezers to remove the tick in a steady motion then clean the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

For additional information about ticks and tick-borne diseases in Teton County visit tcweed.org/vectorborne