Ixodes pacificus, the western black-legged tick, is not deterred by the cold weather we have been experiencing lately in the North Bay. In fact, last week our Scientific Programs Manager came across several of these ticks while conducting tick surveillance in 44 degrees temperatures! As long as it’s not below freezing and there is no snow on the ground, these ticks will be active.
So before you head outdoors this winter, be sure to follow these tick prevention measures:
- Apply a tick repellent to exposed skin. Use a repellent with one of the following EPA-registered active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or para-menthane-diol (PMD).
- Consider treating clothes/personal outdoor equipment with a product containing permethrin.
- Wear light-colored clothing (this makes it easier to spot ticks).
- Wear long pants, long sleeves, and long socks whenever possible (this makes it more difficult for the tick to get to your skin).
- Stay on trails (adult ticks are typically more abundant on the uphill sides of trails).
- Avoid logs and areas with high grass or fallen leaves.
- Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks after you come indoors.
- Shower after coming indoors and carefully check for ticks.
- Properly remove any attached ticks immediately.
- Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors.
- Contact the District for a free tick remover and tick ID card by clicking here.
For more information regarding ticks and tick bite prevention, visit www.msmosquito.org/ticks