Health officials urge caution toward ticks, related illnesses

The Wyoming Department of Health says tick season is here, and it's time to re-educate ourselves on tick-borne illnesses.
Fields such as this one, situated west of Cheyenne, may be crawling with ticks in spring and fall, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. (David Dudley/KHOL)

by | Apr 30, 2024 | Health, Recreation

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) says that tick season is here. That means it’s time to re-educate ourselves on tick-borne illnesses.

Before you go on that hike, take a moment to protect yourself and your loved ones from tick-borne diseases like tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Colorado Tick Fever. However, the ticks that carry Lyme disease are not found in Wyoming.

Courtney Tillman, an infectious diseases expert with the WDH, said the best way to prevent tick-borne illnesses is to prevent tick bites.

“There’s a variety of things that people can do to prevent tick bites,” said Tillman. “Apply insect repellent. We recommend those approved by the EPA, which contains 20% DEET. Additionally, you can treat your clothing with permethrin.”

Tillman suggested avoiding grassy and brushy areas by sticking to the center of trails. You should also check for ticks when returning from such areas.

Tillman said that parents should apply the repellent to children who will be outside for extended periods of time. And parents should do a head-to-toe tick inspection when their kids return from such adventures.

“If you find a tick that’s embedded, you want to remove the tick as soon as possible,” Tillman said. “The best way to do that is to use tweezers. Pull up on the tick and pull the tick out.”

Using olive oil is not recommended, Tillman added. For step-by-step instructions, and more information, go to

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

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