Ticks Found in New York

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May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month – just because May is out the door and June is approaching, does not mean we have to stop educating about ticks.

What do ticks look like? What ticks are found in New York?

Ticks are identified as arthropods, which attach themselves to the skin of their hosts to feed on their blood. The three most common ticks in New York State are the deer (black-legged) tick, the American dog tick and the lone star tick.

The Black-Legged Tick

Identification:

  • Young deer ticks, called nymphs, are brown and the size of poppy seeds (about 1/8 inch long).
  • Adult female deer ticks are red and black, while males are black.
  • Adult deer ticks are about the size of a sesame seed.

Biology:

  • The black-legged tick only requires three blood meals during its life of two to three years.
  • Larvae and nymphs will feed on small mammals (white footed mouse) and birds.
  • All stages will feed on humans.
  • Only deer ticks can carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease along with the germs that cause babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis.

Habitats:

  • They live in wooded or brush filled areas where mice, deer and other mammals (the deer tick’s preferred sources of food) can be found.

The American Dog Tick

Identification:

  • The American Dog Tick can range up to half an inch in length.
  • The American Dog Tick is reddish brown with white or yellow markings and has a flat body with a hard protective ‘shield’.

Biology:

  • The adult life stage of this species of tick will feed on humans, while the younger stages rarely (if ever) feed on humans. American Dog Ticks are more common on dogs and other medium sized animals.
  • American dog ticks can carry the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Habitats:

  • The American Dog Tick can be found in wooded areas where their preferred hosts including mice, voles, squirrels, chipmunks, moles and rabbits, among others are located.
  • Deer and dog ticks are most active during the spring, early summer and fall.

The Lone Star Tick

Identification:

  • Females are ¼ inch long with a white dot or star on the center of her back.
  • The Lone Star Ticks range from 1/3 and ½ inch long, similar in size to deer ticks.
  • Lone Star Ticks have long mouthparts used for feeding.

Biology:

  • All life stages of this tick will feed on humans.
  • The Lone Star Tick carries the germ that causes human monocytic ehrlichiosis and another rash illness.

Habitats:

  • The Lone Star Tick is frequently found in thickly wooded areas along creeks and near rivers and other animal resting places.
  • Lone Star Ticks are most active from April through July.

Living in and around the Capital Region it is inevitable you will come across ticks. Unfortunately, keeping these insects away from your property is nearly impossible, but our pest management services can help. With simple precautions you can potentially avoid encounters with these biting insects. Thomas Pest Services, your Saratoga pest control experts can help reduce you and your families’ risk. If you live in Clifton Park or elsewhere in the Capital Region and need assistance getting rid of ticks , fill out our contact form today!


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