Disease-carrying ticks are active again with the arrival of cool and wet weather, according to a press release from the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District
Recent district surveillance on trails in Chico’s Bidwell Park trails and the Lake Oroville Recreation Area have identified increased populations of the Western black-legged tick, sometimes referred to as the deer tick. It can be a carrier of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, erlichiosis and babesiosi.
Early symptoms of Lyme disease often include a spreading “bulls-eye” rash, which is usually accompanied by symptoms such as fever and body aches. Prompt treatment with antibiotics can cure the disease. If left untreated, symptoms can progress into arthritis or nervous system disorders.
They prefer cool and moist environments, and are found in shaded grass, shrubs, and in leaf litter under trees in oak woodlands.
By reducing exposure to ticks, residents can help protect themselves from tick-borne diseases. The district offers these tips:
• Avoid areas where ticks live, such as trail margins, brushy and grassy areas and leaf litter.
• Stay on trails and avoid contact with high grass and brush.
• Wear light colors so ticks can be easily seen if they get on you.
• Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck pant legs into boots or socks and tuck shirt into pants.
• Use repellent registered for use against ticks. Always read and follow label directions when applying repellents.
• Thoroughly check yourself and your children frequently for ticks, especially at the hairline and base of the scalp.
• Routinely check pets for ticks and remove them promptly; check with your veterinarian for tick control products.
To remove an attached tick, grasp it with fine-pointed tweezers as close to the skin as possible, and pull straight out. Do not twist, burn or apply irritants to the tick, and avoid mashing or squeezing the body of the tick.
The district will identify the tick for free if you put it in a jar or plastic bag with a piece of cotton or tissue moistened with water, and bring the tick to the office at 5117 Larkin Road in Oroville.