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Ticks: Anyone seeing a lot of ticks in the Bay Area this year?

By Gary Bogue
Monday, June 20th, 2011 at 7:25 am in Ticks.

Tick crawling on arm. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
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While watering oaks on North Lime Ridge — our resident ‘wood tick magnet’ attracted some new friends. He picked up 12 wood ticks. The one I photographed on his shirt he missed, but after the photo it was released.

He always picks up ticks when we’re on our trips to maintain and plant habitats on the open space slopes of Mount Diablo around Walnut Creek. Hope these photos work for you.
Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, California

Tick crawling on shirt. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
1tick1 brian murphy wc

Great photos. Thanks. This will give people who haven’t seen ticks before a chance to see what they look like. I’m always fascinated how some people seem more attractive to ticks (and mosquitoes!) than others. I guess they just taste better.

I’ve been getting a lot of reports from people I know who say this seems to be a BIG tick year in the San Francisco Bay Area. After walking through a field to reach a creek the other day, one person reported feeling a “tingle” on his legs and found 50+ ticks crawling around on his legs when he pulled up his pants.

I’d like to do a little survey. If anyone encounters ticks in large numbers (more than one or two) when hiking through an area, please leave a reply/comment below on how many ticks (approx.) you found and any other pertinent info. Also please include the location of the field/area where you found the ticks (please include city and nearest cross streets).

Do we really have a big tick problem this year? Let’s find out if we do, and where.

Here are some websites with tick information:







Thanks! /Gary

Tick crawling on arm. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
1tick2 brian murphy wc

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10 Responses to “Ticks: Anyone seeing a lot of ticks in the Bay Area this year?”

  1. C. Putman Says:

    I know you requested a huge number of ticks, but I’ll comment anyway, because the location and the tick were a surprise to me. In 2005, I was painting in a vacant lot at the corner of Ygnacio Valley Road and Oak Grove Road. It’s still there. The next night, I found a deer tick (a small black tick) that had crawled up my leg without me ever feeling a thing and had attached itself high up inside my leg. There were ground squirrels in the field and deer may pass through, but it is largely an area surrounded by commercial establishments and traffic. I’m one of those people who, if there is an insect within 1/2 mile of me, it will find me and bite me. They swarm to me. Why I walked out into that field to paint knowing how I attract bugs, I’ll never know, but they found me.

  2. J.Chin Says:

    In February, a companion on Mt. Diablo picked up about 10 ticks in a short time on the Blackpoint Trail. At the same time, I found one on me. On several occasions this year, I have found one on me a day or two after having been on Mt. Diablo – they have only been crawling and not ‘dug-in.’ I just now found one in my hair, and it does not seem to be either a wood tick or a deer tick.

  3. J. Chin Says:

    Although I had responded on 6/20 already, today I took another hike on the Black Point Trail on Mt. Diablo, and I acquired 5 ticks on me (that I have found so far). Black Point Trail is in Mt. Diablo State Park, and starts 1/2 mile up Mitchell Canyon from the Mitchell Canyon Visitors’ Center, in Clayton.

  4. H. Austin Says:

    We just returned from a camping trip at Samuel P. Taylor SP in Marin. I had found a deer tick on myself, and all other members of our party removed multiple bigger ticks like the Brian Murphy picture above.

  5. Andrew Ho Says:

    I hiked Mitchell Rock Trail to the Eagle Peak on Mt. Diablo today(7/3), and I counted I had more than 20 ticks on me within four hours of hiking.

  6. a.rodriguez Says:

    went walking along elkhorn slough in moss landing and found several ticks on pants, clothes and in my hair.

  7. Chris Says:

    In the hills between vallejo and fairfield. West of 680 at top of 680 and 80 at Cordelia. My kids went hiking and came back with 20 ticks a piece.

  8. linda Says:

    Every time my dog goes outside to pee, she comes back with a tick or two. And we are in a residential area in Sonoma! I have lived in same place for 60 years and and never experienced this!

  9. Erica Says:

    We live in Hercules and everytime I let my dog go outside to relieve himself he comes back covered with ticks. We have very close contact with deer here

  10. Misty Says:

    I found a tick crawling up my leg as I was trying to go to sleep night before last. I live in the Napa Valley and they seem to be everywhere this year. The dog has flea and tick medicine so they are looking for a different home! Pottys at a local park, so may have to change venues!

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