Ticks can be dangerous and should be taken pretty seriously. Since we recently had our first run-in with a tick we thought it was time to share some information (and pictures).
Ticks are small arachnids that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. There are multiple types of ticks and they range in size and color.
Most people know ticks to be the cause of Lyme Disease, but there are many other tickborne diseases that are found in Oregon and the United States.
Ticks like to hangout in tall grasses, brush (leaves, etc) and bushes. They have been spotted around trees and also tend to be in areas with high deer populations. Some good tick prevention is staying out of tall grass, out of bushes, making sure not to brush up against much when out hiking. Basically stick to the trail. Wear long pants and long sleeved shirts, and tuck in your shirt. Keep pants cinched: tuck pants into boots, use a rubber band or tie string around pants near your ankles.
If you know you are going on a hike that has ticks or head off trail its best to do a quick tick check (arms, legs, torso, neck/face) before getting in the car and heading home. Don’t forget your backpack or anything else you brought with you! Make sure to do a THOROUGH check when you get home. Ticks are tiny and can be commonly found in interesting places.
There really is no “tick season”. Sure you will definitely see more ticks in late spring through summer, BUT you can get a tick bite year round. Take it from us, we got ours in early February.
Take tweezers and grab the tick as close to your skin as possible. Ticks are fighters and wont go willingly so when you pull up on the tick make sure you give it a little muscle. But do not twist or jerk the tick, it can cause the head to break off the body.
Dispose of the tick quickly by flushing it, drowning it in alcohol, or putting it in a ziplock bag. Wash your hands and then clean the bite thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol.
It is important to remove the tick as soon as you find it! The longer you wait the more time it has to transmit a disease.
Watch for rash, fever, headaches, and joint pain. These are all signs of tickborne diseases. This can happen anytime within 1-30 days.
Writing down the date that you were bit, along with where you got the tick (what trail, etc.) is a good idea. Some people keep the tick in a ziplock bag too. All of these things will help your doctor if you do end up with a tickborne illness.
We will update this page over the next week or so (with pictures) to show you what to expect with a tick bite.
Checkout these websites for more information on ticks.