Blacklegged Deer Ticks

Color
Orange-brown with dark legs
Shape
Flat; broad oval
Antennae
No
Region
Found primarily in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, southeastern and north central regions of the U.S.
Legs
8
Size
1/8″
Flying
No
Blacklegged Deer Ticks

Habits: During the winter, adult ticks feed primarily on the blood of white-tailed deer, which is why they are sometimes called deer ticks. In the spring, a female tick will drop off its host and will deposit about 3,000 eggs. Nymphs, or baby ticks, feed on mice, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, dogs, humans and birds.

Habitat: Blacklegged ticks prefer to hide in grass and shrubs while waiting for a passing host.

Threats: Blacklegged ticks or deer ticks are a vector of anaplasmosis, babeosis and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a primary concern in the United States. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic bull’s eye-shaped skin rash. Lyme disease can also affect joints, the heart and the nervous system if left untreated.

Prevention: When in an area where ticks are common, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, preferably light-colored so ticks will be easy to detect. It’s also important to wear a tick repellent containing at least 20 percent DEET. To get rid of ticks and their risks indoors, inspect clothing and skin when heading inside. If you find a tick, remove it with a slow and steady pull. Consult with a doctor immediately if there is a reaction at the bite site or if you believe you have contracted Lyme disease. To address ticks on your property, contact a tick control professional.