NEWS: Northern California facing bad year for ticks
The San Francisco Chronicle’s outdoor columnist warns people out and about in the bay area to protect themselves from ticks.
2012 already looks like bad year for ticks
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Ticks are taking over the coastal foothills right now. Some days are like a horror film, with Dracula bugs everywhere – in the high grass, on the low-lying limbs of chaparral – waiting for a victim to brush by so they can jump on for the ride.
It’s the worst season I’ve seen for ticks in 10 years and among the worst in 30 years.
It isn’t localized. The Ventana Wilderness near Big Sur on the Monterey coast has so many ticks this winter that it’s like an invasion force has commandeered the countryside.
At Half Moon Bay, Montara and in Marin, it’s much the same. On the Point Reyes National Seashore, especially the Coastal Trail out of Palomarin near Bolinas, some days are like an epidemic. Yet the worst area could be the coastal hills near Pescadero.
The Sierra foothills are also loaded with ticks right now, most at elevations from 800 to 2,000 feet in landscapes with high grass near creeks.
Maybe it’s the weather: just enough rain to get things going, warm most afternoons, great conditions not only for ticks, but for hiking, biking and dog walks. The twain thus meet.
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