Lyme disease is a growing threat throughout Utah and the United States. In recent studies, reports show that from 2008-2012 there were 260 counties in the U.S. with a high rate of this disease. Considering that from 1993-1997 there were only 69 counties, this is the reason to be concerned. If left untreated, Lyme disease can be fatal. Today, we at Rentokil would like to take the opportunity to add to the awareness of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses that the ticks common to Utah are responsible for.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease will produce such symptoms as fever, headaches, rash, and fatigue. It will then spread into the joints, nervous system, and heart if it continues to be left untreated according to the CDC. It is important people understand the seriousness of Lyme disease. If you find you have been bitten by a tick, remove the tick by firmly plucking it out of the skin and contain it. Seek medical attention and bring the tick with you for testing. The sooner you are treated, the less affected you will be. Lyme disease can cause long term effects after prolonged exposure; even death.

Ticks Found in Utah

In Utah, black-legged ticks sometimes referred to as deer ticks, are the primary cause of Lyme disease. The Rocky Mountain wood tick and the American dog tick are other common ticks found in the area. Ticks are not only vectors for Lyme disease, but other tick-borne ailments like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis, and other illnesses can inflict pets and humans with their bites.

Blacklegged Ticks

Blacklegged ticks are commonly mistaken for other ticks, especially in Utah where they are not natives. They are flat-oval shaped are colored in shades varying from red to brown. After a meal, they will look engorged but are normally approximately 1/8” long. Blacklegged ticks are more active in the late spring through the end of summer, but can be seen all year long. Their preferred host is the white-tail deer, but they will attach themselves to wild, domestic, and livestock animals as well as people.

Rocky Mountain Wood Ticks

Rocky Mountain wood ticks are known for causing tick paralysis and transmitting diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, rickettsia, and tularemia. Females are slightly bigger, but they appear dark brown to reddish in color. These ticks are found more frequently in shrub-lands, lightly wooded areas, open grasslands, along trails, and places with lower elevations. Active throughout most of the year, Rocky Mountain wood ticks are especially so in late spring to early summer.

American Dog Ticks

American dog ticks are rightfully named due to their host preference of dogs. But they will also select other domestic, wild, and livestock animals as well as humans if they are in need and canines are not available. American dog ticks are generally brown with white to grayish colored markings. When not on a host, they can be found in grassy areas or places with low vegetation. They are known vectors of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, as well as tularemia and tick paralysis.

Tick Control

If you believe you have encountered ticks, seek medical treatment for you, your household, and pets. Immediately contact Rentokil so that we can apply treatment to your home and yard to control any current tick populations and help to prevent future infestations.

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