Blacklegged Tick

BLACKLEGGED TICK (aka DEER TICK) Ixodes scapularis

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Identification

Pest Stats

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Colour

Reddish brown, gray-blue when engorged
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Size

1/8” (3 mm) unengorged; 1/2” (12 mm) engorged
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Legs

Larvae have 6 legs, nymphs and adults have 8 legs
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Antennae

No
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Shape

Oval, flattened
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Region

Throughout Canada and eastern United States
Where Found

Widely distributed across Canada and the eastern United States.

Transmits

Borrelia burgdorferi and B. mayonii (which cause Lyme disease), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (anaplasmosis), B. miyamotoi disease (a form of relapsing fever), Ehrlichia muris eauclairensis (ehrlichiosis), Babesia microti (babesiosis), and Powassan virus (Powassan virus disease).

Comments

The greatest risk of being bitten exists in the spring, summer, and fall in the Northeast, Upper Midwest and mid-Atlantic. However, adult ticks may be out searching for a host any time winter temperatures are above freezing. All life stages bite humans, but nymphs and adult females are most commonly found on people.

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