While it is a good idea to take preventive measures against ticks year-round, be extra vigilant in warmer months (April-September) when ticks are most active. For Wyoming, this is particularly May, June, and July. It is common to find ticks in long grasses and area with bushes when playing or participating in outside activities.
Repel Ticks on Skin and Clothing
- Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
- Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
- Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an online tool to help you select the repellent that is best for you and your family.
Find and Remove Ticks from Your Body
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
- Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
- Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.
- Wash clothing after coming inside with hot water. If clothing does not need to be washed, place in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes, longer if clothing is wet.
- For specifics on technique removal visit: www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html
DISEASES TRANSMITTED TO HUMANS FROM TICKS
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted to humans from the bite of the Rocky Mountain wood tick, American dog tick and brown dog tick. Tick bites are usually painless and as a result many people who are infected with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever do not remember being bitten by a tick.
Symptoms begin as a sudden onset of fever and headache. Symptoms also include a rash that begins 2-5 days after fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle pain, lack of appetite and red eyes.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a SERIOUS ILLNESS that can be fatal in the first eight days of symptoms if not treated correctly, even in previously healthy people.
This is no vaccine for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The only way to prevent getting the disease is to protect yourself from tick bites by using an EPA approved insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding wooded and bushy areas with high grass and perform thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors.
Colorado Tick Fever:
Colorado Tick Fever is transmitted to humans from the bite of infected rocky mountain wood ticks. People who live at 4,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level are most at risk for getting Colorado Tick Fever.
Symptoms of Colorado Tick Fever include past history of being bitten by a tick, fever, chills, headache, body ached and feeling tired. Some patients have a sore throat, vomiting, abdominal pain or a skin rash. Most people who become ill have mild disease and recover completely.
There is no vaccine for Colorado Tick Fever. To prevent getting Colorado Tick Fever, it is recommended to protect yourself from tick bites by using an EPA approved insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding wooded and busy areas with high grass and perform thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors.
Tularemia is transmitted to humans from the bite of a deer fly or tick or coming into contact with infected animals such as rabbits or prairie dogs.
Symptoms of Tularemia depends greatly on how the bacteria entered the body.
- Ulceroglandular This is the most common form of tularemia and usually occurs following a tick or deer fly bite or after handing of an infected animal. A skin ulcer appears at the site where the bacteria entered the body. The ulcer is accompanied by swelling of regional lymph glands, usually in the armpit or groin.
- Glandular Similar to ulceroglandular tularemia but without an ulcer. Also generally acquired through the bite of an infected tick or deer fly or from handling sick or dead animals.
- Oculoglandular This form occurs when the bacteria enter through the eye. This can occur when a person is butchering an infected animal and touches his or her eyes. Symptoms include irritation and inflammation of the eye and swelling of lymph glands in front of the ear.
- Oropharyngeal This form results from eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Patients with orophyangeal tularemia may have sore throat, mouth ulcers, tonsillitis, and swelling of lymph glands in the neck.
- Pneumonic This is the most serious form of tularemia. Symptoms include cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. This form results from breathing dusts or aerosols containing the organism. It can also occur when other forms of tularemia (e.g. ulceroglandular) are left untreated and the bacteria spread through the bloodstream to the lungs.
- Typhoidal This form is characterized by any combination of the general symptoms (without the localizing symptoms of other syndromes)
There is no vaccine for Tularemia. To prevent getting Tularemia, it is recommended to wear long pants, long sleeves and long socks to keep ticks and flies off of your skin. Removing ticks promptly with fine tipped tweezers and wearing gloves when handling animals especially rabbits, prairie dogs and other rodents.