If you head up into the mountains, watch out for these bites

Jul 18, 2023, 12:09 PM | Updated: 12:17 pm


A western diamondback rattlesnake used by Haley Bechard, of Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance, is pictured in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — This time of year, The Utah Poison Control Center gets an influx of calls about bites. Rattlesnake and tick bites are especially worrisome because of the venom and disease the animals carry.

Rattlesnake bites

Pace recommended heading straight to the hospital if you’ve been bitten by a rattlesnake. On the way, call poison control so they can alert the hospital to have anti-venom ready.

Many may have heard of folk remedies to treat rattlesnake bites, Sherrie Pace with The Utah Poison Control Center said, but these aren’t effective treatments.

“You’ve probably heard of people trying to cut the wound and suck out the venom. That doesn’t work and it could actually induce infection,” Pace said.

Tick bites

If you’ve been up in the mountains or in the brush, do a full-body tick check. Pace said you may see a small part of the insect’s body poking out of the skin. She recommended using tweezers to pull the tick straight out.

Pace said there are folk remedies for tick bites, but she recommends avoiding those.

“People sometimes use Petroleum Jelly or nail polish,” Pace said.

If left untreated, ticks can carry Lime Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which is more common here in Utah. If a rash develops around the area, seek medical attention.


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If you head up into the mountains, watch out for these bites