Deer ticks, also known as black-legged ticks are one of about 13 species of ticks found in the US. Deer ticks are commonly found in woodland and grassy areas. Adults are small – about the size of a sesame seed. Deer ticks are vector insects, and may be the only insect that spreads Lyme disease, a debilitating condition that is rarely fatal, but which is often confused with the flu in its early stages. Because of this, identifying and controlling deer ticks is important around houses and in outdoor areas where children, pets and adults gather. Deer ticks live mainly in the eastern half of the U.S. infesting deer and small rodents as alternate hosts. Western black-legged ticks live west of the Rocky Mountains and are also vectors for Lyme disease there. Deer ticks go through four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. After hatching from the eggs, ticks must eat blood at every stage to survive. Ticks that require this many hosts can take up to 3 years to complete their full life cycle. Spraying twice a year (spring/fall). It is best to spray the lawn from the house toward the woods and brushy areas around the perimeter of the property. Spray should hit leaf litter and underbrush. Also spray areas where mice may nest.
Deer Tick Facts:
- Deer ticks are the only vector insect known to spread Lyme disease
- Also called black-legged ticks, adults are about the size of a sesame seed. Nymphs are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence (.)
- Ticks crawl up, Ticks don’t jump, fly, or drop from trees onto your head and back.
- Deer ticks eat blood at every stage to survive
- Infections can occur any time during the second or third feeding
- Insects must be feeding actively for at least 24 hours to infect a person
- Deer, mice and squirrels are vectors for Lyme disease