SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Winter rains made our Santa Barbara County hills greener, but may have contributed to the tick population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say this could be a record breaking summer for ticks.
Fortunately, Santa Barbara County Public Health and a local pediatrician don't believe residents should be too alarmed. However, ticks are definitely worth avoiding.
Ticks are more active during spring, summer and early fall months when it's warm out. Temperature and rainfall can influence the ability of ticks surviving and reproducing. Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas like hiking trails.
If bitten, ticks can transmit Lyme disease, southern tick-associated rash illness, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrilichiosis, and tularemia.
Doctor Brian Santacrose, Children's Medical Clinic, tells us ticks in this area do not have a lot of illnesses in them compared to other parts of the country like the East Coast.
However, Santacrose still recommends wearing layers when hiking and spraying bug repellant spray with the ingredient "deet." People should also ask someone to check their clothes and body before entering their homes because ticks can attach themselves onto clothing and bite later.
If bitten, you should seek help from a medical professional or reach out to Santa Barbara County's Vector Control Management in Summerland.