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Tick FAQ

I found a tick on myself/child/pet. What should I do?

Do not panic. It is best to have a doctor or nurse remove any imbedded tick. If that is not possible, then you should remove the tick. Once the tick has been removed, place it in a tightly sealed container so that it can be saved for testing. Bring it into the Napa County Mosquito Abatement District for identification and testing. Watch the area that has been bitten for swelling or redness for the next couple of weeks. If there is any redness or swelling contact your medical care provider for proper medical treatment.

I believe myself/child/pet was bitten by a tick. What should I do?

Consult a physician for proper medical treatment. If you have the tick, place it in a tightly sealed container so that it can be saved for identification and possible testing. Bring it into the Napa County Mosquito Abatement District for identification and potential testing. Watch the area that has been bitten for swelling or redness for the next couple of weeks. Should redness or swelling occur, contact your medical care provider for proper medical treatment.

How do I remove a tick from myself/child/pet?

Grasp the implanted tick with fine-tipped tweezers (never with bare hands) as close to your skin as possible. With a steady motion, pull the tick away from the skin. Do not twist or jerk the tick as you remove it. Do not apply fingernail polish, heat from a match, alcohol or petroleum jelly to the tick. If the tick cannot be removed or part of it is left in the skin, consult your physician. When done wash hands with soap and water and cleanse the area with an antiseptic. Place the tick in a plastic bag or other small container so that it can be saved for testing. Watch the area that has been bitten for swelling or redness for the next couple of weeks. If your pet is bitten by a tick you should contact your veterinarian who can provide information on vaccines and tick repellents.

How do I protect myself/child/pet from ticks?

Some things you can do to protect yourself, family and pets from ticks include:

  1. Avoid areas known to be infested with ticks.
  2. Wear long sleeved clothing and long pants.
  3. Wear light colored clothing so that ticks can easily be seen and removed.
  4. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt ends into pants to prevent biting.
  5. Use approved repellents on legs and exposed skin. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  6. Inspect yourself/child/pet thoroughly for ticks after leaving or hiking in possible tick infested areas. Ticks especially like warm places such as behind the knees, ears, armpits and can also be found on backs.
  7. Choose wide trails and walk only on trails. Do not venture off into bush and grassy areas.
  8. There is a vaccine offered by many veterinarians that can help to protect your dog from tick bites.
  9. After hiking with your pets you should thoroughly comb them with a fine metal hair comb to remove any ticks that may have attached themselves to your pet.

When are ticks most common in Napa County?

Ticks are present year round, with the adults of some species most active November through April.

How many kinds and types of ticks are there in Napa County?

There are 49 tick species found in California. Some species can carry the Lyme spirochete and therefore all ticks should be identified and those determined to be the Western Black-Legged tick should be tested. There are ten confirmed species and three probable species in Napa County. Ticks occur rear round with some species such as the Western Black-Legged tick (vector of Lyme Disease) most active from November through May.