Rangers are warning hikers to be extra vigilant checking for ticks as some have been found to be infected with Lyme disease. A "tick check" after hiking can minimize the risk of contracting the disease. Patrick Healy reports from Malibu Creek State Park for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 12, 2013.
Lyme disease-carrying ticks have been detected in seven popular recreational areas in the Santa Monica mountains, one of them for the first time, according to test results released by vector control officials.
The revelation is accompanied by warnings to visitors to check their skin for the tiny blood-sucking parasites.
Lyme-positive ticks were also found by the Vector District in four state parks: Malibu Creek, Tapia, Topanga, and Will Rogers.
"This is a good reminder for visitors to stick to the trail and avoid the vegetated areas where ticks like to hang out," said Evan Jones, Chief Ranger for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
In addition, there were also positive tests for ticks sampled from upper Malibu in the city's Charmlee Park, and above LA's westside in Sullivan Canyon, which has a creekside trail that is a magnet for hikers and mountain bikers.
Between 1 and 2 percent of western black-legged ticks are estimated to carry the debilitating bacterial infection.