Monterey Bay Area's Helpful Tick Bite Field Guide

Last modified on: August 7, 2021


Although small, ticks are dangerous and shouldn't be taken lightly. They carry and transmit many diseases that can make people sick. These diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, relapsing fever, tularemia, human babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, tick paralysis, and Colorado tick fever.

Ticks are arachnids, which explains their eight legs and rigged outer body. Two common species in the Monterey Bay Area are the black-legged ticks and American dog ticks. Both species are a similar size, about 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch, with females being larger than males. As someone who lives in the Monterey Bay Area, you should know what to do if you find a tick on you or are bitten by one.

an american dog tick crawling on a humans arm

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Bitten By A Tick? Here's What To Do

It can be difficult to prevent getting a tick on you when you are out in nature or even in your yard. Unlike other bugs, you can't just flick or pull a tick off of you. This is because part of their head gets buried under the skin, remaining attached after they bite.

To remove a tick from yourself, another person, or a pet, you should:

  • Use fine-point tweezers
  • Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. This will help to ensure you remove all of the insects.
  • Try not to crush or puncture the tick's body as this can cause infected fluid to spread.
  • Pull up gently and don't jerk or twist as this could break the head off, leaving it attached to your skin.
  • Wash your hands and the bite area thoroughly. You can use rubbing alcohol or iodine as well.
  • Dispose of the tick properly by flushing it, wrapping it in tape, submerge it in alcohol, or place in a sealed container to discard right away.

Some common misconceptions you want to avoid when dealing with ticks are:

  • Burning, it can cause infection to spread
  • Don't put petroleum jelly or any other substance on the tick while it is on you. This can cause the tick to bury itself in your skin.
  • Don't try to drown the tick with water as they can survive for long periods underwater.

Even after the tick is removed and discarded, you still need to be mindful of side effects.

Warning Signs For Problems Caused By Ticks

Once you have removed the tick, you should continue watching for symptoms as it is essential to catch many of the transmitted diseases early to treat them properly. These warning signs include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Nausea
  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Rash around the bite site or a full-body rash
  • A burning sensation around the bite area

If you see any of the warning signs listed above or do not feel well after a tick bite, you should seek medical attention. It can be beneficial to take a picture of the tick that bit you or even safely save the tick so that the species can be identified or even sent out for testing. Instead of taking your chances with ticks on your property, you should try and reduce ticks populations where you can.

Controlling Tick Populations On Your Property

The best way to control tick populations on your property is with professionals assistance. If you live in the Monterey Bay Area, you should contact Smith's Pest Management experts. Our trained technicians can reduce tick populations on your property and help implement preventative measures to keep this pest away. Don't wait; give us a call today so we can assist you with this dangerous pest.


Author Bio: Zach Smith

zach smith, owner of smith's pest management

Landscape Pro Turned Gopher Pro: Owner, Zach Smith, graduate of Cal Poly’s Horticulture program worked nine years as a landscape professional- dealing with gophers, moles, and ground squirrels and was quickly recruited by other local gardeners. Fast forward to the past 10+ years, where Zach and his team trap and remove burrowing pests from residential, municipal and commercial properties throughout the San Francisco Bay area, from Marin to Monterey.



 

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