‘Tis the Season for Ticks; Seven Tips to Protect Yourself

Sure, it’s the holiday season. But did you know that here in San Diego County it’s also tick season?

That’s right. Ticks. Those little, eight-legged, bloodsucking parasites that creep you out when you find them latched onto you, your kids or your pets.

So, before you take advantage of the cooler weather to run outside and venture into nature, you might want to arm yourself with some simple protection tips — starting by wearing insect repellent and using flea and tick control products on pets.

Protecting yourself is important because even though tick-borne illnesses are rare in San Diego County, ticks can potentially spread a bunch of diseases, including Lyme disease, tularemia (also known as rabbit fever) and spotted fever illnesses.

Ticks aren’t insects, they’re actually arachnids — related to spiders, scorpions and mites. They have hard, flat external skeletons and they feed on blood. You’re probably not going to run across them in urban or suburban areas, but you can find them — or rather, they can find you — if you like to walk into canyons or backcountry areas.

Ticks “quest” to find hosts by crawling up onto blades of grass or brush, perching and thrusting their hook-like front legs out into the air. When a person or animal brushes by the tick latches on and looks for a place to bite.

Here are seven tips to help keep ticks away:

For more information about ticks go to the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health’s Tick Web page, and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tick Web page. You can also watch this County News Center TV video, “Tick Talk.”



Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact