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Experts harvest ticks along American River Parkway, test for Lyme disease – KCRA Sacramento

The American River Parkway is more than 30 miles of trails and draws over 10 million visitors each year. But Sacramento’s backyard jewel is also a popular destination for ticks. Peak tick season runs from December to May, according to Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito Vector Control District. Lab technicians are harvesting ticks at 20 locations across the district to test for Lyme Disease. One average, 7% of the ticks test positive for the disease. “I try to stay close to a trail because the ticks are expecting the animal or human to walk by,” lab technician Joy Drake said. “They’ll try to position themselves to be able to attach to you.”Ticks actually don’t jump, but are rather are strategic and lie in wait for an animal or person to brush by on the edge of trails or in brush. “They basically wait in grassy areas and they do a behavior called ‘questing’—where they wait on the edge of a blade of grass and wait for something to come by, whether it is a person or a dog,” spokesperson Luz Maria Robles said. “Then they can crawl up your body, take a blood meal, and transmit the Lyme Disease.”Robles advises visitors to stay on the paved trail, as opposed to the adjacent dirt trails. Also, dogs and their curiosity are particularly vulnerable. “She gets them frequently. She loves to be off trail in some of the areas. And she kind of dances around through all the grass,” visitor Tom Putnam said of his dog Sophie. “Whenever we go home, we do the body check. They’re usually around her neck and leg.”The risk of Lyme Disease is relatively low. Last year, statewide there were 100 Lyme disease cases, according to Robles. “While it’s rather low compared to other parts of the U.S.—primarily the East Coast—here it’s definitely a concern for us as well,” Robles said. “And right now– it is prime tick season.”The point is to be aware that they’re present. “I’ve had them on me but they’re pretty easy to spot,” Putnam said. “They’re around. It’s part of being on the parkway.”The proper way to remove a tick is to take a pair of tweezers and grab as close to the head as possible and pull straight up, Robles said. Don’t light a match or twist and pull. The goal is to get all the mouth parts, because if they stay inside the skin that’s how people can become ill.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. —

The American River Parkway is more than 30 miles of trails and draws over 10 million visitors each year.

But Sacramento’s backyard jewel is also a popular destination for ticks.

Peak tick season runs from December to May, according to Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito Vector Control District.

Lab technicians are harvesting ticks at 20 locations across the district to test for Lyme Disease. One average, 7% of the ticks test positive for the disease.

“I try to stay close to a trail because the ticks are expecting the animal or human to walk by,” lab technician Joy Drake said. “They’ll try to position themselves to be able to attach to you.”

Ticks actually don’t jump, but are rather are strategic and lie in wait for an animal or person to brush by on the edge of trails or in brush.

“They basically wait in grassy areas and they do a behavior called ‘questing’—where they wait on the edge of a blade of grass and wait for something to come by, whether it is a person or a dog,” spokesperson Luz Maria Robles said. “Then they can crawl up your body, take a blood meal, and transmit the Lyme Disease.”

Robles advises visitors to stay on the paved trail, as opposed to the adjacent dirt trails. Also, dogs and their curiosity are particularly vulnerable.

“She gets them frequently. She loves to be off trail in some of the areas. And she kind of dances around through all the grass,” visitor Tom Putnam said of his dog Sophie. “Whenever we go home, we do the body check. They’re usually around her neck and leg.”

The risk of Lyme Disease is relatively low. Last year, statewide there were 100 Lyme disease cases, according to Robles.

“While it’s rather low compared to other parts of the U.S.—primarily the East Coast—here it’s definitely a concern for us as well,” Robles said. “And right now– it is prime tick season.”

The point is to be aware that they’re present.

“I’ve had them on me but they’re pretty easy to spot,” Putnam said. “They’re around. It’s part of being on the parkway.”

The proper way to remove a tick is to take a pair of tweezers and grab as close to the head as possible and pull straight up, Robles said. Don’t light a match or twist and pull.

The goal is to get all the mouth parts, because if they stay inside the skin that’s how people can become ill.

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