Tick alert!

How to defend against disease-carrying ticks

This winter’s cool and wet conditions are ideal for disease-carrying ticks. The Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District recently reported increased populations of the western black-legged tick (aka deer tick) on trails in Bidwell Park and the Lake Oroville Recreation Area. They’re commonly found in shaded grass, shrubs and under leaves in oak woodlands, and may harbor illnesses such Lyme disease. Hikers are urged to take precautions:

• Stay on trails and avoid grassy areas and leaf litter.

• Wear light colors so ticks are clearly visible if they’re on you.

• Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

• Use repellent made to deter ticks.

• Thoroughly check yourself and your children for ticks, especially along the hairline and at the base of the scalp. And don’t forget to check the dog, too.