It’s time for ticks!

They’re out now, so be careful

Spring has sprung, and folks are getting outdoors more. That means they’re coming into greater contact with ticks that may be carrying Lyme disease and other illnesses. Recent surveillance activities on Chico’s Bidwell Park trails and the Lake Oroville Recreation Area trails have identified increased populations of the western black-legged tick, sometimes referred to as the deer tick. This is the tick that carries Lyme disease.

The Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District is warning that the immature form of the tick known as a “nymph” is most active at this time of year. They’re tiny, about the size of a pinhead, so watch out for them.

People can avoid ticks by staying on trails and out of high grass and brush. Wear long-sleeved shirts and tuck pants into boots. Check thoroughly for ticks after the hike, especially at the hairline and base of the scalp. Remove them with tweezers by pulling them straight out.

Early symptoms of Lyme disease often include a spreading “bulls-eye” rash, which is usually accompanied by symptoms such as fever and body aches. Prompt treatment with antibiotics can cure the disease, particularly when it is diagnosed early. If left untreated, symptoms can progress into arthritis or nervous-system disorders.

For more information, visit the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District website at or call 533-6038 or 342-7350.