Cotati, Ca - The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District is reminding residents that ticks are active year-round and to take preventative measures when outdoors. Adult western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) are commonly found fall through early spring, while the tiny nymphs are most active in the spring and early summer. Both stages of this tick can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
"Fall and winter can be ideal times to enjoy the outdoors," stated Nizza Sequeira, Public Relations Director for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District. "It is also the time of year when adult western black-legged ticks are quite active. Whether hiking, camping, hunting, bird watching or just taking a leisurely stroll in the woods, residents and visitors need to be proactive in their approach to tick bite prevention."
Pet owners should also consult their veterinarian to discuss preventative measures that can be taken to protect their animals from ticks and tick-borne diseases.
Personal protection measures should be taken prior to, during, and after being in tick habitat, including:
- Wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants when hiking, walking or working in areas where ticks may be present.
- Clothing and equipment can be pre-treated with a permethrin product to kill ticks.
- Apply repellent containing DEET (at least 20% concentration) on exposed skin to repel ticks.
- Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks after you come indoors.
- Shower after being in tick habitat to detect ticks.
- Remove ticks promptly by using tweezers to grasp the head of the tick as close to the skin as possible, then pull straight out.
- Contact your physician if you have concerns or become ill after being bitten by a tick.