Pacific Coast Tick
Dermacentor occidentalis Pacific Coast Tick, female

Family:
Ixodidae or hard ticks. 
 

Appearance:
Adults are small, roundish, with eight legs (larvae or seed ticks have six legs); one-eighth to one-quarter inch long.

Lyme's Disease:
Pacific Coast Ticks do not carry Lyme's Disease - Deer Ticks do.

Habits and Diet:
Live on the skin of mammals, mostly rodents; feeding on the blood of the host.

Tick Removal Instructions (New York Dept of Health): 
If you discover a tick attached to your skin, promptly, gently and firmly remove it -- preferably with finetipped tweezers. Do not use bare fingers. Do not squeeze the tick, as this action could propel germs into your body. If tweezers are not available, use a tissue, paper, leaf or paper towel.

Do not apply mineral oil, Vaseline, or anything else to remove the tick as this may cause it to inject the spirochetes into the wound. Be sure to remove the entire tick. Get as close to the mouth as possible and firmly tug on the tick until it releases its grip. Don't twist. If available, use a magnifying glass to make sure that you have removed the entire tick. After removing the tick apply an antiseptic such as rubbing alcohol to the site. Save the tick in a jar and label it with the date, where you were bitten on your body and the location or address where you were bitten for proper identication by your doctor, especially if you develop any symptoms. Do not handle the tick. 
Wash your hands immediately. Check the site of the bite occasionally to see if any rash develops. If it does, seek medical advice promptly.

Left - male Pacific Coast Tick                                     Right - female Pacific Coast Tick
Pacific Coast Tick, malePacific Coast Tick, female
Pacific Coast Tick, maleOther Links:

UC Davis Link "Biology of Ticks"

Ticks: control, tick-borne diseases, newsgroups and tick research links

Ticks: Dept. of Health - New York

Iowa State University

images - I. Lindsey

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