Blacklegged (Deer) Ticks (Ixodes Scapularis)
Color: Dark brown to black body.
Shape: Flat; broad oval
Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, can be found in all 50 states.
Deer ticks will readily substitute humans for their natural prey.
Blacklegged ticks live as long as three years. Deer ticks have three blood meals in their lifetime, triggered by the three stages in their life cycle.
Deer ticks live in wooded areas with thick, bushy vegetation and in any area where their preferred host (deer) live. They survive cold winters by going dormant.
When consuming a blood meal, a blacklegged tick will stay attached five or six days. After being attached for 12 hours they can transmit human anaplasmosis and Lyme disease after 24 hours.
Keep lawns mowed and bushes trimmed back from frequented areas. If you are walking in wooded areas, keep all skin covered and tuck in clothing. Blacklegged ticks attach in areas close to ground level. A pest control agency can help you keep deer ticks out of areas you frequent.