Vermont Lyme Network
the US, there are several kinds of ticks. The two found
in the Northeast are the common dog tick and the
black-legged tick, also called the deer tick. The
black-legged tick is the usual vector for Lyme disease
and other tick-borne diseases, though dog ticks are also
known to carry diseases. Dog ticks are larger, more
rounded, and darker overall than the black-legged tick.
The black-legged tick has a reddish or red-brown outline.
Before feeding, it is about the size of a sesame seed.
Engorged, it is the size of a small watermelon seed. Its
nymph may resemble a freckle or small scab. See bottom of page for
instructions on removing ticks.
While adult ticks may feed on deer or other large animals, the larval form feeds on small animals, commonly rodents such as the white-footed mouse, many of which are carriers of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. The larva then molt into nymphs, and are able to pass on the diseases at the next feeding.
In cold weather, ticks become dormant and hide in litter and other protected places. When temperatures are above freezing, both adult and nymph ticks climb onto the tips of grasses and shrubs to wait for a warm-blooded animal to brush against it. A tick can hide in folds of cloth, hair, or skin for several hours before feeding. The bite is painless, and its victim may not be aware of it.
IT IS IMPORTANT to carefully examine one's body thoroughly for the presence of ticks as soon as possible after being in grassy or brushy areas, including back yards. Clothing should immediately be put into a hot dryer for at least 15 minutes. Ticks can survive the washing machine, but are killed by hot dry air.
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|To remove a tick: