Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol - East Bay Regional Park District

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Ticks and Lyme disease

Ticks may be encountered within the District because they are widespread in the natural grasslands and woodlands environments common in the parklands.

Tick bites are an issue because Lyme disease can be transmitted via a tick bite. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. In California, only one species of tick, the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus), is thought to be responsible for transmitting Lyme disease to humans. (Other tick species are involved elsewhere in the U.S. and world.)

Reduce the likelihood of tick bites by staying on the trail and avoiding tall grasses, brush, and leaf litter. Wear light-colored long pants and long sleeves, with pant cuffs worn inside the socks, and use an appropriate repellent according to the manufacturer's directions.

If you find a tick crawling on your your skin or on your pet, brush it off. If you find a tick embedded in your your skin or in your pet's skin, leave it there until you can remove the tick properly. You may wish to consult a physician or visit a medical clinic, or a veterinarian in the case of your pet. You may wish to obtain a commercial tick-removal kit and use it. Such kits are available at drug stores and outdoor supplies stores. You can also remove ticks with tweezers or with a latex or vinyl-gloved hand. Make every effort to keep an embedded tick alive so it can most easily be analyzed for infection with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

You may wish also to consult information published by public health agencies or educational institutions on the subject of tick bites and Lyme disease. Resources include:

You should consult the vector control agency for the county in which you live for tick identification and testing for Lyme disease bacteria. The agencies for the two counties in which East Bay Regional Park District parks and trails are located are:

Alameda County Vector Control Services District
1131 Harbor Bay Parkway Suite 166
Alameda CA 94502-6540

Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District
155 Mason Circle
Concord CA 94520-1277
February 2015

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