Ed Golson Outdoor Education

deer ticks

Scientific Name: Ixodes scapularis

Description: Deer ticks are tiny. It has been said that deer ticks are half the size of a freckle. They grow to be less than 1/8 of an inch long. The ticks are dark brown to black in color. These ticks do not have any eyes.  

Every year, the female tick lays thousands of eggs, but most do not survive into adulthood. This is because they are so small and don't have eyes, many of the ticks starve before they find something to feed on. 

Habitat: Deer ticks are found through most of the Eastern U.S. Their preferred habitat includes areas that have a mixture of grasses and small trees.  Deer live in these areas too, and so provide a source of food for the  deer ticks. 

Food: Ticks are parasites . Like mosquitoes, they feed on the blood of larger animals. Their preferred hosts are white-tailed deer , but they will feed on almost any large mammal, including humans. Deer ticks can cause problems because they often carry diseases like Lyme's disease. As they move from one host to another, they spread the disease with them.

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