Spider Looking Critters
Ticks don’t seem to be a major concern in the East Bay and in the past 40 years of living here, I have never come across one. However, this experience felt like a scene out of Arachnophobia!
We did about a six mile hike this past Saturday doing a loop in the Sunol Regional Wilderness through the Indian Joe, Eagle View, and Flag Hill trails. Traversing the steep slope of the Eagle View trail, J exclaims “There’s lots of spiders climbing on me!” Upon closer inspection, those spiders were actually ticks!
This section on the Eagle View trail was a bit overgrown with tall grasses on which the ticks were waiting for unsuspecting passersby like ourselves. At any given time, 4-5 ticks could be found on our pants, gradually climbing up in search of bare skin! All in all, be probably had to flick off about 20 ticks each during the traversal!
Fortunately for J and I, we foiled the ticks’ plans by wearing hiking pants and long sleeve shirts. Even though shorts can be more comfortable during those super hot and dry East Bay days, one trip through some overgrown thistle can make you glad you wore pants. And added protection from those surprise ticks doesn’t hurt either.
- NPR Page on what to do if you’ve been bitten by a tick
- TickEncounter page for submitting tick pictures and identifying the tick
- Wear long pants and long socks!
Got this response from TickEncounter who identified the tick as an American dog tick. Snipped for brevity:
FYI, American dog ticks do not transmit Lyme disease but can transmit the germ causing Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). Studies have shown that American dog ticks can transmit an infectious dose of the RMSF rickettsia as well as other less dangerous rickettsiae in as little as 12 hours of attachment. The chance for disease from a bite by this type of tick is typically low as the tick infection rate in American dog ticks is generally less than 1% in your area, but if this tick is
the chance for disease would likely be low due to the shorter duration of feeding.