During peak tick season, October-April, our staff collects ticks at designated tick surveillance sites in the foothills. We identify the different species of ticks found and test for tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease. This information helps us identify and communicate tick-borne disease risk to the public.
The District will identify insects like ticks but does not test ticks that are submitted by the public or were found on people in accordance with the California Department of Public Health recommendations.
CDPH does not recommend that ticks be tested for B. burgdorferi to determine if medical treatment is necessary because:
- The need for treatment should not be based on these test results since testing methods vary in accuracy.
- Tick testing results do not necessarily predict if the person bitten will get Lyme disease.
- Even if an attached tick tests “negative,” other undetected ticks may have attached to a person and transmitted the agent of Lyme disease.
- The tick may not be a western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) that transmits Lyme disease.
If a resident would still like to have a tick tested, the University of Massachusetts has a program to test your tick for a fee.