Blacklegged (Deer) Ticks

(ixodes scapularies)


A notorious biting arachnid, the black legged tick is named for it’s dark colored legs, which is a contrast to it’s pale body.



During the winter months the ticks usually feed on the blood of white-tailed deer, which is why they are sometimes referred as deer ticks.   In the spring the female tick will drop off her host and lay about 3,000 eggs.  Nymphs, or baby ticks feed on mice, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, dogs, birds and humans.



Blacklegged ticks tend to hide out in grass or shrubs and wait for a passing host.



Blacklegged or deer ticks are a vector of anaplamosis, babeosis, and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the primary concern in the United States.   

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