Deer Ticks

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Deer Tick Facts

  • Deer ticks have 8 legs and are closely related to spiders and scorpions.
  • They feed on living animal and human tissue and are only 2mm in size.
  • Deer ticks are commonly found on people and animals that have spent a lot of time outdoors.

Tick Photos

What Are Deer Ticks?

Deer ticks associated with Lyme disease
Usually 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.

UF study points to Lone Star tick as a Lyme disease vector and not deer tick
However, 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 the milder winters and climbing overall temperatures have seen a lot more Lone Star tick-related vet visits as far north as Massachusetts.

Deer ticks go through complete metamorphosis and eat only three times in their lives
Smaller than the more common dog tick, newly hatched immature deer ticks measure about 2mm, or roughly the size of sesame seeds, and display reddish hindquarters and black dorsal markings, adults growing to 3-5mm. 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.

Additional Information

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