Throughout the spring, summer, and fall we see an increase in mosquitos and ticks in and around Silver Bow County. It is important to always be educated and prepared to prevent bites from ticks and mosquitos due to their ability to spread disease.
Ticks are eight-legged insects, more closely related to spiders than other six-legged insects. They do not jump or fly but wait on vegetation for people or animals to brush up against them. They attach then look for a place to feed. They may only be attached for a few hours. Ticks are known to spread many illnesses, some potentially life-threatening. This page will focus on ticks and illnesses seen in Montana, however if you are planning on traveling, be sure to become familiar with the local ticks and the associated health risks.
Above you will see various types of ticks. The types of ticks found in Montana include the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, American Dog Tick, Brown Dog Tick, and the Soft Tick. All of those types of ticks are known to spread diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Tularemia, Soft Tick Relapsing Fever, and Colorado Tick Fever. Check out the following resources for tips on how to avoid ticks and prevent bites!
Important: People with tickborne disease often do not know that they were bitten by a tick. Tell your provider if you could have been exposed to ticks even if you did not see them.
Thankfully, in Montana we don’t see as many illnesses transmitted by mosquitos as other parts of the U.S. or the world. However, it is still a good idea to protect yourself and children from insect bites as much as possible. This year, 2023, the U.S. saw its first couple of cases of malaria that were not travel-associated. If you are travelling, whether it is in the U.S. or internationally, call the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department (406-497-5020) for location-specific recommendations and possible vaccinations.
The 4 D's of Prevention
• DEET: Choose an insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin.
• Drain: Drain standing water around your house or property.
• Dawn/Dusk: Mosquitos are most active in the morning and in the evening.
• Dress: Wear long sleeves and pants to cover exposed skin when possible.