Press release

Winter is Tick Season in San Mateo County

A deer tick rests on a blade of grass.

Tick Season Begins in San Mateo County

Burlingame, CA – 14 November 2016

Officials at San Mateo Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) remind residents that winter is the season for the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus), also known as the deer tick. This tick is the primary vector for Lyme disease and other common tick-borne illnesses.

According to San Mateo Mosquito and Vector Control District Laboratory Director Dr. Nayer Zahiri, results from the District’s 2015/2016 tick-borne disease surveillance program indicate that up to 3% of ticks collected in San Mateo County are infected with bacteria capable of causing illness in humans. This is consistent with previous years’ data for San Mateo County.

The District recommends that residents and visitors continue to take precautions against tick bites when engaging in outdoor activities. “Tick-borne illnesses can be very serious,” said the District’s Public Health Education and Outreach Officer, Megan Sebay. “Don’t be afraid to enjoy our county’s wonderful parks and open spaces – but do protect yourself against ticks.”

Basic precautions against tick-borne illness include:

  • Wear light-colored clothing and long sleeves and pants
  • Use repellent containing DEET on exposed skin
  • Avoid contact with brush, tall grass, and leaf litter
  • Check carefully for ticks after outdoor activities
  • Remove ticks promptly and correctly; never crush, burn, smother, or twist an attached tick
  • Consult a health professional if unable to completely remove a tick, or if a rash or fever develops after exposure to a tick

For more information on ticks in San Mateo County, contact the San Mateo Mosquito and Vector Control District at (650) 344-8592 or visit


Megan Sebay, Public Health Education and Outreach Officer

1351 Rollins Rd.

Burlingame, CA 94010

(650) 344-8592