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Weed and Pest Warns Against Ticks

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March 24-30 is Tick Bite Prevention Week, with spring approaching, Wyoming Weed and Pest Districts urge residents and visitors to take steps to avoid tick bites and tick-borne diseases.

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.

Brian Songer, of the Sheridan Weed and Pest,

Several other diseases, 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.

“Wyoming has historically had the highest incidence rate of Colorado Tick Fever in the United States,” said Mikenna Smith, Teton County Weed and Pest District Entomologist. “It is important to protect yourself and your pets from tick bites and tick-borne diseases whenever you are outdoors in our region.”

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. Tuck pants into socks for extra protection. • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. Walk in the center of trails to prevent contact with ticks.

Even though this is still early in the year, Songer advised that,

• 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.

Songer had this advice on how to remove the tick and kill it.

This should be done as soon as possible to prevent or reduce pathogen transmission. After the tick has been removed, clean the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

• 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 cat without first talking to your vet.

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