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Fri Jun 11, 2021, 11:56 PM

Lyme Disease-Carrying Ticks Are Turning Up On California's Beaches

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Omaha Steve (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: npr

June 11, 20211:17 AM ET

As temperatures rise in California and people in search of respite head for the beach, there's a new concern beyond damaging sun rays and strong undercurrents: disease-carrying ticks that appear to be spreading all along the Golden State's coast.

The black-legged arachnids that carry Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme, are common on the East Coast, where they usually are found in wooded areas and tall grass. But new research shows the blood-sucking critters are capable of thriving along the West Coast too, though experts don't exactly know why or how.

An unexpected home in California

Dan Salkeld, a biology researcher at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, led a four-year study that found the ticks on beaches along much of Northern California, from Mendocino County down to Monterey County. It appears they're also moving farther south, including to Malibu, Manhattan Beach and Newport Beach, Salkeld told NPR affiliate KCRW — though he notes that the threat of Lyme disease is minimal in those areas.


Still, the coastal shrubs and grasses are surprising new habitat for the disease because those ecosystems are not home to the traditional reservoir hosts.

Ticks on their own do not carry the bacterium that causes Lyme. For that to happen, they need to draw blood from a mammal host that can harbor B. burgdorferi. On the East Coast, that is commonly deer and white-footed mice. In California, that would include deer, as well as western gray squirrels, voles and mice — none of which lives in seaside grasslands...........................

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2021/06/11/1005391496/lyme-disease-carrying-ticks-are-turning-up-on-californias-beaches?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_medium=social

As our climate continues to change, I believe more and more of these dangerous buggers will be seen in more places.


Black-legged ticks carrying the bacterium that causes Lyme have been found in the coastal chaparrals surrounding California beaches.
James Gathany/CDC via AP

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Reply Lyme Disease-Carrying Ticks Are Turning Up On California's Beaches (Original post)
riversedge Jun 2021 OP
Ellipsis Jun 2021 #1
RockRaven Jun 2021 #2
truthisfreedom Jun 2021 #3
Mister Ed Jun 2021 #5
msfiddlestix Jun 2021 #4
Omaha Steve Jun 2021 #6

Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 12:06 AM

1. I can see it now.... Baywatch Guinea hens.

This is some scary stuff.

In their ancestral homeland of Africa, guineas follow the grazing herds and can reputedly eat four thousand ticks per day!

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 12:26 AM

2. Opossums and Western Fence Lizards are your friends... Even if you don't think they're cute.

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 12:29 AM

3. This seriously makes no scientific sense. Where are the hosts?


“ Two Year Life Cycle of Ixodes scapularis:

Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as the blacklegged or deer tick has four life stages; egg, larva, nymph, and adult (male and female). The blacklegged tick is considered a three-host tick where each mobile stage (larva, nymph, adult) feeds on a different host animal. This tick species feeds on a wide variety of mammals as well as birds and, occasionally, this includes domestic animals and humans.

I scap nymph larvaFigure 2. A nymph (left) and larva (right) of the deer tick.

Stage 1 (egg) – Blood-fed or engorged females lay eggs on the ground typically beginning in late spring, usually near the site where they detach from their hosts.

Stage 2: (larva) – In the summer of year one, eggs deposited in late spring hatch into six-legged larvae which feed once on a variety of small mammals or birds. Engorged larvae drop from the host to the ground where they overwinter and molt. After hatching, larvae do not carry tick-borne pathogens–such as the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi which causes Lyme disease–but may pick up pathogens during their first blood meal from a diseased host and subsequently transmit such pathogens during their second and third feedings as nymphs or adults. Larval stage I. scapularis are rarely infected with Borrelia burgdorferi or other tick-borne pathogens. In spring of the following year, larvae emerge as eight-legged nymphs.

Stage 3 (nymph) – In year two, nymphal stage blacklegged ticks will begin to feed and peak activity is typically from May through July but this may begin earlier depending on the climate. At this time, the nymph may transmit disease-causing organisms to humans or to wild or domestic mammals. Both larvae and nymphs have the potential to become infected with Lyme disease bacteria (B. burgdorferi) and other tick-borne pathogens when they feed on infected white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), chipmunks (Tamias striatus), or certain species of birds. The white-footed mouse is the principal source (reservoir) of B. burgdorferi, Babesia microti–the organism which causes the majority of cases of human babesiosis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum– the organism which causes human granulocytic ehrlichiosis.

The nymphal stage is more likely to transmit tick-borne pathogens to humans due to their small size (less than 2 mm– about the size of a poppy seed) which makes them harder to detect and remove. Adult blacklegged ticks, though they may be infected with tick-borne diseases, are more likely to be found on a person’s or domestic pet’s body and removed.

Stage 4: (adult) – During the fall, nymphs molt into adult male and female ticks. Adults seek medium to large mammalian hosts, particularly white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during the fall and warm days of winter and the spring. The females feed on deer and other large mammals, mate, lay eggs, and die. If females don’t feed in the fall, they try to find a large mammal host the following spring. A frost does not kill blacklegged ticks and adults may become active as soon as it is above freezing. Occassionally they can be spotted during a temporary thaw in the winter. Adult male blacklegged ticks attach to a host to wait for females, but are not thought to take a blood meal and therefore are not known to transmit tick-borne pathogens–they can however be infected during the larval or nymphal stages if they take a blood meal from an infected host animal. White-tailed deer are the principal host for the adult ticks, an important means of transport and tick abundance is closely linked to the abundance of these animals. White-tailed deer are not considered competent reservoirs for Lyme disease (Garnett et al. 2011).”

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 01:45 AM

5. Perhaps seagulls? n/t

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 12:53 AM

4. Freaky report. Our coast has been such a wonderful refuge, but there is on error in this report

I happen to know there are squirrels in various places along the Bay, specifically Alameda shore line. Now I understand that is not the ocean as it is inlet bay shoreline, but none the less there are squirrels a plenty. Don't know about mice.

So maybe that's a technical distinction but it would seem if squirrels are there, they could conceivably migrate along the coastal areas as well.

But the point that ticks carrying lime disease are turning up on our beaches here is very unwelcome news.

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 07:00 AM

6. After a review by forum hosts....LOCKING

OVER 12 hours old when posted: June 11, 2021 1:17 AM ET

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