How to Prevent Tick Bites in Utah

Ticks are found across the US in the summer months, and they often carry diseases that can make people very sick. The best way to prevent tick-borne disease is to avoid areas with ticks during tick season, but that is not always possible. In this post, we’ll explain how to prevent tick bites and what to do if a tick does bite you.

How to Prevent Tick Biteswestern black legged tick on a green blade of grass

To help prevent ticks from latching onto you, wear long pants and sleeves, use bug repellent, and avoid brushy, open areas if possible. 

In Utah, ticks tend to live in brush-filled meadows where they can easily hide and wait for a host to pass, then latch on to feed for days or weeks (depending on the species). They usually latch onto deer and other animals, but they will attach to humans if given the opportunity. This is why it is so important to check yourself for ticks after walking through fields.

Try to shower after being outside and check for ticks behind your ears, in your armpits, etc. Some species can take about 2 hours to find a sheltered place on your body and even longer to attach, so simply checking for ticks can help prevent tick-borne illness. Another reason checking for ticks is so important is that noticing a tick bite can be difficult because their bites are painless. 

After they attach, they secrete a substance that cements them to your skin. The cementing agent hardens within about 2 days, so it’s important to find and remove the tick before then. Some ticks will stay attached to their host for up to 2 weeks unless they’re removed, but most stay for a few days. 

If you find a tick on your body, follow these steps to remove it as soon as possible:

  1. Use a pair of tweezers to gently grip the tick’s body close to the skin
  2. Slowly pull straight up with steady pressure
  3. Clean the area with soapy water
  4. Flush the tick down the toilet; do not crush it
  5. If the head remains embedded in the skin, remove it with tweezers if possible
  6. If a rash or other symptoms of illness develop, visit the doctor immediately

Tick Behavior and Life Cycle

tick on a yellow flower

In Utah, western black-legged ticks, brown dog ticks, and Rocky Mountain wood ticks are the most common. These are all hard-bodied arachnids that stay embedded in skin for at least several days to feed on their host. 

Most types of ticks can live for 2 – 3 years as long as they find host(s) for each stage of their growth cycle. Brown dog ticks stay attached to just one host, but most other types of ticks detach from one host to find another for each growth stage. Females lay their eggs on soil or in grass in spring or summer. In Utah, tick season usually begins in May and lasts through the summer or early fall. Most tick bites occur in May and June.

Tick-borne Diseases close-up of a tick on skin

The western black-legged tick is the only tick in Utah that can carry and transmit Lyme disease. While Lyme disease is relatively uncommon in Utah, it can have severe side effects and complications that can last years. Some symptoms of Lyme disease are as follows:

  • Red rash at the tick bite site
  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Over time, symptoms may worsen into multiple rashes, facial paralysis, meningitis, arthritis, etc. This is why it is imperative for Lyme disease patients to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment quickly. With a 10–14 day antibiotic treatment cycle, most people will make a swift, full recovery.

Other diseases some ticks carry, like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, can also be very damaging. Brown dog ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks both can carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Rocky Mountain spotted fever has similar symptoms to Lyme disease: 

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain 
  • A rash made up of small spots 

This disease must be diagnosed and treated early because it can quickly become fatal if it is not treated.

Rocky Mountain wood ticks can also carry Colorado tick fever. Colorado tick fever causes chills, fever, headache, and fatigue, among other symptoms. This disease tends to be less serious than Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. Most people fully recover within a couple of weeks. 


Ticks are more of an issue in fields rather than residential areas, so we don’t specifically target them. However, Stewart’s Pest Control Service will keep your home free of spiders, ants, wasps, and many other common household pests. Call or text our office at 801-226-2261 for a free service quote today!