By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– With summer in full swing, many of us spend the majority of our time participating in outdoor activities. While we are enjoying these outdoor activities, ticks can become an unwelcomed guest. There are many different species (kinds) of ticks in the world. The specimen pictured is a western black-legged tick. This species of tick is common in California and is known to spread certain diseases such as Lyme disease. Ticks are small Arachnids (a kind of animal that has eight legs and a body formed of two parts) which require a blood meal to complete their lifecycle.
Ticks bite many different animals (including people), and the animal they bite is called the host. Both males and females feed on blood; however, the female takes in the largest amount of blood, which is used to nourish eggs (sometimes over 1,000!). After taking her blood meal, the female drops off from the host and deposits her eggs on the ground. Ticks are often found in places where people hike, play, work or live. Adult ticks wait on vegetation to bite a large animal that passes by, including people, dogs, horses, and leaf litter. If you plan on visiting tick habitat, there are things you can do before, during and after your visit to protect yourself from ticks:
Even if you are careful when you visit a tick habitat, there is still a chance that you may be bitten by a tick; if this happens don’t panic. Follow these steps to remove a tick:
Consult your physician if the tick cannot be removed, part of it is left in the skin, or if you develop a rash or flu-like symptoms within 30 days of the tick bite. Learn more information about ticks from the CDC’s website.