The fall brings many welcome elements, like much needed rain and some cooler weather, but it also brings some unwelcome elements, like ticks.
Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District officials say there's currently a spike in tick population around the county, which leads to medical concerns because ticks can carry many diseases, including Lyme disease.
Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District Regional Supervisor Aaron Lumsden says there are many varieties in the area, but its deer ticks that are the most concerning.
“When we get to the summer, the numbers just really go down because they need the cool, moist weather to really sustain them,” he said.
He says ticks like dense and moist places, so lakes in the woods like the one in upper Bidwell Park are the perfect breeding ground.
“It’s cooler and it's really dense, so they like the areas where people are walking by and they're going to jump on you,” he said.
He said as long as you're near trees, grass, brush, or leaves, you're at risk, which is why the department encourages people to stay near the middle of the trail if you're worried about being bitten.
“What we're worried about right now is the black legged tick, and that's the one that delivers Lyme disease to people,” Lumsden said.
It's more commonly known as the deer tick.
“Occasionally, there’s a bull’s eye rash, that's one tell-tale sign that you've had a tick bite and you possibly have Lyme disease.”
You may also develop flu like symptoms anywhere from 2-15 days after being bitten.
Lumen recommends that everyone treat clothing with insect repellant before going out into the woods, wear light colored clothing so you can see the ticks more easily, as well as thoroughly check yourself and your pets after coming back.
He also said if you find a tick on you and you're curious about what kind it is, you can put it in a jar or a zip lock bag with a wet tissue inside and bring it to the County Mosquito and Vector Control District in Oroville and they will identify it for you for free.