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Tick-Borne Diseases

Ticks are small, spider-like creatures most often found outside in wooded or brushy areas with tall grass, rocks, logs, and fallen leaves.​ Ticks bite and 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 spread to a person while the tick is attached and cause disease. 

The best way to avoid getting tick-borne diseases is to prevent tick bites: use tick repellent when going outside in areas where ticks are common, and check for ticks often while outside and after you return indoors. If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it right away with tweezers.

Seasonal Risk of Exposure to Infected Western Blacklegged Ticks in California

Seasonal Tick Risk Graphic

click to download (PDF)

Educational Materials  

If you would like to request copies of these educational materials for your agency or program, please contact the CDPH Vector-Borne Disease Section at (916) 552-9730 or email​ ​​

KQED Deep Look Video


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