Ticks in the Pacific
Learn about ticks commonly found in WASHINGTON – ORGEGON – CALIFORNIA.
Imagine … Hiking in Oregon’s Turtleback Mountain Preserve, exploring the waters of California’s Big River estuary, or even romping in Lake Washington’s nine-acre off-leash park, Warren Magnuson Dog Park. There are countless, breath-taking outdoor adventures in the Pacific region that feed our souls – and our pet’s.
Keeping your best friend safe from ticks and tick-borne diseases is vital to continuing those exciting outdoor experiences. Did you know that you have approximately twenty-four to thirty-six hours to remove a tick before tick-borne disease transmission can occur? Education and removal are key! The safe and immediate tick removal tool - the revolutionary, patented TickZapper® - can remove a tick – on the spot – without the risk of human contact. Weighing one ounce, you can easily slip it into your pocket or backpack as you walk out the door! Searching for more information about ticks and potential tick-borne diseases in the Pacific Coast area? Read on to learn more.
Pacific Region Tick Information
Education and timely removal are key in preventing tick-borne disease transmission. Read on to learn more about ticks commonly found in the Pacific region.
Pacific Coast Tick (Dermacentor occidentalis): Referred to as a ‘three-host tick” (larvae, nymphs and adults can feed), the Pacific Coast Tick is the most common of all ticks found in California. They may also be found in Washington, Oregon and Mexico. Typically present along hiking trails, in vegetation dominated by shrubs, also grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Adults prefer to feed on large mammal hosts, such as horses, deer, cattle, etc.; larvae and nymphs feed on smaller mammal and rodents, including squirrels. Adults are most active during April and May; larvae and nymphs are most active in early spring and late winter. Learn more.
Tick-borne diseases related to the Pacific Coast Tick include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, 364D Rickettsiosis, Tularemia (Francisella tularensis) and Bovine Anaplasmosis.
Western Black Legged Tick (Ixodes pacificus): Although classified as a ‘‘three-host tick” (larvae, nymphs and adults can feed), it is typically the nymphs and adult females that are most likely to bite. The Western Black Legged tick is commonly found in the western areas of Washington, Oregon, California, as well as Mexico and Canada. As of 2018, the CDC reports that these ticks have also been discovered in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Learn more here. These ticks are typically found on the underside of low-lying shrubs and brush, in areas between forests and open grass, along hiking trails and even in well-groomed parks. Larvae feed on birds, mice, or rodents; nymphs, like adults, will seek larger hosts such as deer, dogs, cats, and humans. Activity typically starts after Thanksgiving, with peak activity occurring in May and June.
Tick-borne diseases related to the Western Black Legged Tick include Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease.
Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni): Classified as a ‘‘three-host tick” (larvae, nymphs and adults can feed), the bite of an adult female may excrete a neurotoxin that causes temporary paralysis in both humans and pets (see below). The Rocky Mountain Wood tick is commonly found in Rocky Mountain States or the Western States (Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, northern Arizona, northern New Mexico and southwestern Canada from elevations of 4,000 to 10,500 feet.) These ticks are typically found typically found in shrubs, lightly wooded areas, grassland, brushy areas, and along commonly travelled paths such walking or hiking trails. Larvae and nymphs feed on small rodents; adults feed on larger mammals. Highest activity periods are spring and summer.
Tick-borne diseases related to the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick include Colorado tick fever virus (transmitted to humans), Rickettsia (transmitted to dogs, cats, humans), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (transmitted to humans, cats, and dogs), and Tularemia. Note: Saliva excreted by the Mountain wood tick contains a neurotoxin that may cause paralysis in pets and humans, which typically wears off within seventy-two hours of tick removal. Learn more here.
American Dog Tick (aka Wood Tick) (Dermacentor variabilis): Classified as a ‘‘three-host tick” (larvae, nymphs and adults can feed), the American Dog Tick is commonly found east of the Rocky Mountains. This area begins at the eastern borders of Montana and Wyoming, and spans the remainder of the entire United States, to the eastern coast. Also included is the western coast of California. They may also be found in parts of Canada and Mexico. This tick prefers overgrown areas that include tall grass, wetlands, waste fields, low lying brush, trails such as walking and hiking paths, and wooded areas. Larvae and nymphs prefer to feed on small rodents such as mice and squirrels; adults feed on larger mammals such as dogs, cattle, and deer. Activity period is April through September.
Tick-borne diseases related to the American Dog Tick include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia.
Timely tick removal is vital to the prevention of tick-borne disease transmission. You have approximately twenty-four to thirty-six hours to remove a tick before most blood feeding occurs. Be prepared for immediate and safe tick removal – on the spot – without the risk of human contact! Slip your lightweight (1 oz.) TickZapper® into your pocket, purse or backpack on the way out the door!