Deer Tick Facts
Deer Tick Behavior
Deer ticks go through complete metamorphosis and eat only three times in their lives. With a two-year life span, maturing through four metamorphic stages: egg, larva, nymph and adult, deer ticks eat only three times during their lives, feeding exclusively on animal blood.
Deer Tick and Lyme Disease History
Deer ticks spread Lyme disease. Lyme disease is often associated with the Northeast US due to the 1975 incident in Lyme, Connecticut where an outbreak of juvenile arthritis turned out to be caused by deer ticks. At the time, scientists deemed deer ticks as the primary and maybe sole carriers of Lyme disease, a debilitating, though rarely fatal disease, that is often misdiagnosed as the flu initially.
As recently as 2016, University of Florida researchers are leaning towards naming Lone Star ticks as the primary vectors for Lyme disease in the US. This research is important because milder winters are becoming more common and overall temperatures are rising. As a result, many areas have seen a lot more Lone Star tick-related vet visits, including as far north as Massachusetts.