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Male and female black-legged tick.Habitat

A pest of livestock and wildlife. During early fall it is often the most common tick on deer and cattle. May be found along paths, trails, and roadways. Lyme disease, caused by a spirochetal bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, may be transmitted by the bite of Ixodes scapularis.


Life Cycle

Adults become active in late September and October and are present until March or April. The preferred host for larvae and nymphs is the white-footed mouse, while adult ticks prefer to feed on white-tailed deer. Ticks can feed on humans at any stage, but most often the nymph transmits the spirochete. Animal studies have shown that Ixodes ticks must remain attached for at least 24 hours in order to transmit B. burgdorferi.



Body with tear-drop shape and relatively small size. Dorsal sheild is blackish while the body behind it is reddish-brown which fades to grey on engorged specimens.



Please contact your local county extension office for current information.

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