Lyme Disease in California

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, giving us an opportunity to shine a spotlight on a serious illness transmitted by certain ticks.

Lyme disease is often associated with the northeastern and upper Midwestern areas of the United States. However, the disease has been found in some northern California counties, which means the risk of contracting the disease is possible in California.

Lyme disease can be transmitted to humans and pets through the bite of infected ticks. In California, the tick capable of transmitting Lyme disease is the western blacklegged tick.

When spending time outdoors in tick-infested areas, protect yourself and your family from ticks and Lyme disease by following these simple precautions:

  • Wear long-sleeve pants and shirts. Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into socks.
  • Perform tick checks frequently – inspect your clothing and exposed skin while outdoors and after you return, check your pets also.
  • Remove any ticks before they can attach – pay special attention to the scalp, behind the ears, arms, and legs.
  • Wash clothing and dry on a one-hour dryer cycle at high heat to kill any ticks that may have crawled onto clothing.

If you find a tick embedded in your skin, use tweezers to carefully pull it out.

Read more about Lyme disease, symptoms, and ticks by visiting the Pest Notes: Lyme Disease in California and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.