By Dylan Darling
Posted March 4, 2010 at 11:28 p.m.
Bloodsucking creatures are lurking around Shasta County, hanging on a grass blade or twig near some of the most popular trails.
Ticks. Their name alone can make a person cringe, thinking of the unsavory chore of plucking one off his or her body or off a pet. And the little insects also can harbor disease.
While the county is known tick country, there haven't been many surveys over the years to see how prevalent they are and what diseases they might carry.
"We saw a gap there," said Peter Bonkrude, manager of the Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District. "Overall, it was just a question mark."
So the district is checking the 1,100-square-mile section it covers in the county for ticks, said Bonkrude, who took over as manager six months ago. Since November, a pair of district technicians have spent a day each week collecting tick samples from 20 spots around the district, which stretches from Castella to Cottonwood and French Gulch to Shingletown.
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