Ticks are small, insect-like creatures most often found in naturally vegetated areas. Ticks feed by attaching to animals and humans, sticking their mouthparts into the skin, and sucking blood for up to several days. There are many different kinds of ticks in California, but only six kinds are known to commonly bite humans. Sometimes these ticks carry germs (like bacteria or viruses) that can be transmitted to a person while the tick is attached and feeding. Avoiding tick bites is the best way to avoid getting these diseases.