TICKS OF THE PACIFIC SOUTHWEST
There are 48 tick species in the Pacific Southwest with a number of tick species that commonly carry and spread pathogens through biting. Ticks are divided into two main families: hard ticks (Ixodidae) and soft ticks (Argasidae). The tick species identified below pose health risks for both humans and animals in the Pacific Southwest.
Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Lunch & Learn Series from PacVec
Learn more about ticks in the Pacific Southwest and tick-borne disease activities at PacVec in our Lunch and Learn presentation. The resources provided in this video are available in “Tick Resources” .
Click on the items below to explore the resources they provide:
- Tick-Borne Diseases
- Information & Interactive Maps
- Information for Health Professionals
- Educational Materials
- Symptoms of Tick-Borne Illness
- Tick Removal
- Tick-Borne Diseases
- Where Ticks Live
- How Ticks Spread Diseases
Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (PacVec)
Tick exposure can occur year-round. Before you go outdoors, it is important that you:
Know Where to Expect Ticks:
- Ticks can be found in areas with grass, shrubs, logs, large rocks, or fallen leaves.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-unecanone.
- Follow directions and reapply as needed.
- Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
Wear Protective Clothing:
- Wear long sleeves and pants when possible.
- Treat clothes and shoes with permethrin that kills ticks. This remains protective through several washings.
- Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.
When you’re spending time outdoors…
- Avoid logs and areas with high grass or fallen leaves.
- Walk in the center of trails.
After you come indoors, make sure you:
- Check your clothing for ticks and tumble unwashed clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill remaining ticks
- Examine gear and pets.
- Shower within two hours or as soon as possible, to wash off ticks.
- Do a full body check. Ticks are usually found in the areas indicated in the graphic.
It is recommended that you do a second tick check 1-2 hours after coming indoors.
If you find a tick crawling on you, brush it off.
If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it quickly.
Use a fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Ways to Dispose of a Live Tick:
- Submerse it in alcohol
- Place it in a sealed bag/container
- Wrap it tightly in tape
- Flush it down the toilet
Never crush a tick with your fingers!