Posted by: Chelsea Hampton | March 30, 2012

Preventing Tick Bites and Tick-Related Illnesses While Still Enjoying the Outdoors

While enjoying the lovely sunshine and warmer weather of spring, it is also important to be mindful of certain pests that the pleasant season brings out. Unfortunately, tick season is fast approaching and individuals working outdoors need to be particularly cautious of these pesky and often unseen travelers. Awareness and a preventative approach can help you avoid tick bites and the illnesses they can spread.  

Fast Facts on Ticks and Illness:

  • Ticks are members of the arachnid family and survive on the blood of their hosts.
  • Ticks are commonly known for carrying diseases including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Tularemia and Lyme Disease.
  • While some diseases require a mere six hours of tick attachment for transmission to occur, Lyme Disease typically requires 36 hours or more for transmission. The risk for disease transmission increases with the length of time the tick is attached, which is why inspecting for ticks after being outdoors is extremely important.
  • There are several varieties of ticks, and Lyme Disease is spread by blacklegged ticks.
  • Symptoms for tick-related illnesses may include fever, fatigue, aches and muscle pain, and rash. While symptoms may differ depending on the illness, it is important to be aware of potential complications. Consult a physician if any symptoms appear following a tick bite.

Facts Pertaining to Wyoming:

  • According to the website for the Wyoming Department of Health, Sublette County has had the highest incidence of Colorado Tick Fever in the nation since 2000.
  • In Wyoming, tick season typically lasts from early spring through mid-July.
  • While Lyme Disease has not been prevalent in Wyoming, Colorado Tick Fever and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are common to certain areas throughout the state. According to the website for the National Lyme Disease Memorial Park Project, there have been 80 reported cases of Lyme Disease in Wyoming since 1980.
  • The species of tick most likely to inhabit Wyoming include the Brown Dog Tick and the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick.  
  • Wooded and brush areas, hilly terrain and ample wildlife make parts of Wyoming very conducive for ticks to thrive and reproduce during warmer months.

Tips for Preventing Tick Bites and Illness:

  • Be particularly proactive during warmer months and conduct a thorough body check after being outdoors. Also inspect pets that have been outdoors and treat with repellent specifically for animals.
  • Whether outdoors for recreation or work, use a reliable repellent regularly that contains DEET. Clothing can be treated with other products as well.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks that might be traveling on you.
  • If you find a tick, promptly remove it and use safe procedures for detachment from the skin!

Proper Tick Removal:

  • Avoid using fingers for tick-removal.
  • Use fine-tipped tweezers for removal and grab the tick as closely to the skin as possible. Pull upward with a steady motion, and avoid movements that might cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin.
  • Following removal, thoroughly disinfect the area and wash hands.
  • Be aware of any symptoms in the days following the bite.

 

Information obtained and adapted from the following sources:

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Ticks http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Lyme Disease http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/index.html

-Wyoming Department of Health – Colorado Tick Fever http://www.health.wyo.gov/phsd/epiid/CTF.html

-Pinedale Online – Ticks http://www.pinedaleonline.com/ticks.htm

-The National Lyme Disease Memorial Park Project – Wyoming Statistics http://www.lymememorial.org/State_Stats/State_Statistics_Wyoming.htm

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: