Recently, the State of Utah conducted tick drags in Summit County and identified ticks positive for Colorado Tick Fever (CTF)

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about tick prevention, removal, and symptoms of tickborne diseases.

The primary species of tick found in Utah is the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick and peak season for ticks runs through to mid-July.

Spending time outside could bring you in close contact with ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, and wooded areas, or even on animals. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood. Long-sleeved clothing and certain insect repellants can help keep the ticks away. Light clothing also makes the ticks easier to spot.

After you come indoors, check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks. Showering within two hours of being outdoors can help remove ticks and provides an opportunity to check for them. Check under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, the backs of the knees, between the legs, and around the waist. 

Many tickborne diseases can have similar signs and symptoms. If you get a tick bite and develop the symptoms below within a few weeks, see your healthcare provider.

The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses include:

  • Fever/chills. All tickborne diseases can cause fever.
  • Aches and pains, including headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches.
  • People with Lyme disease may also have joint pain.
  • Rash. Lyme disease, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), ehrlichiosis, and tularemia can cause distinctive rashes.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, simply remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers works very well. 

  • Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  • Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers. If you cannot remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Never crush a tick with your fingers. 

Dispose of a live tick by:

  • Putting it in alcohol.
  • Placing it in a sealed bag/container.
  • Wrapping it tightly in tape, or
  • Flushing it down the toilet.