Tick bites on the rise in San Luis Obispo County - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Tick bites on the rise in San Luis Obispo County

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Tick bites are on the rise in San Luis Obispo County. 

As the weather gets warmer, you are more likely to come into contact with these parasites.

They live in brush, leaves, and trimmings until they find something to latch onto. Bill Bianchi was recently piling up brush on this hillside in rural Cambria when a tick bit him near his rib cage.

"It was like a mosquito bite and it itched," he said.

Some bites can go unnoticed. A day later, Bianchi saw his bite, the size of a fingernail. Within four hours, it swelled to three inches in diameter.

"Over the ages, I've been bitten by and had ticks before and never had it been this severe," he continued.

Bianchi and his wife, Shirley, say they can't remember the last time there have been this many ticks.

"Bill is all over these hills all the time and he has been finding them on his clothes," said Shirley.

Ticks survive on blood and embed themselves in skin. You can use tweezers to remove the body from the skin. Bianchi was unable to do this, so he went to the emergency room.

Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton says it's been staying consistently busy with bites like this.

"We're seeing a lot of ticks this year. We've had a wet winter and they're multiplying fast like everything else in the wild," said Dr. Tom Hale of Twin Cities Community Hospital.

While there's no real way to prevent getting bitten, the best thing to do is to scan your body after you've been outdoors.

"You note whether or not they have entered your personal environment. Let's put it that way," concluded Bianchi.

Deer ticks can carry Lyme Disease and transmit it to humans through a bite.

Lyme Disease can injure your heart, joints, and nervous system if it's not treated early. Symptoms include a rash around the bite that's red and pale in the middle, aches, and you can develop a low-grade fever.

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