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Deer Ticks

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What do deer ticks look like?

  • Size: 1/8 - 1/8 in.
  • Color: Orange-brown with dark legs; reddish-brown after a blood meal
  • Body Structure: Oval, flattened body, eight legs, mouthparts called hypostome (used to pierce skin)

Characteristics of deer ticks

The female deer tick will gorge herself on a host’s blood, often feeding for more than a week, before falling to the ground and laying her eggs in a secluded, protected spot. After laying a mass of more than 1,000 eggs, the female dies. When they hatch, the larva feature six legs only and immediately go in search of hosts for nourishment. (It is during the larval stage of development that deer ticks contract the bacteria that cause Lyme disease). After feeding on a host for 4 days, the larva will fall to the ground and molt. The resultant nymphs have eight legs. Here again, the nymphs go in search of blood and feed until molting again, at which point they emerge as fully-formed adults.

acrobat ant crawling on a leaf

When are deer ticks commonly active?

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall

Where are deer ticks found?

Deer ticks (also known as blacklegged ticks) prefer to hide in grass and shrubs, resting on the tips of blades of leaves, waiting for potential hosts to pass by. They're often found along fence lines, along trails that pass through tall grass and wooded areas, and transitional areas where lawn meets areas that are not mowed or where field meets forest. 

What do deer ticks eat?

Deer ticks subsist on the blood of animals, including white-tail deer, dogs, cats, and small mammals such as mice and chipmunks. When feeding, the deer tick injects an anti-coagulating agent into its host that allows the tick to feed freely on the victim’s blood.

Are deer ticks dangerous?

Deer ticks are notorious vectors of disease-causing agents, including anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and most notably, Lyme disease. 

Lyme disease is the primary concern in the United States and affects various parts of the body. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • A bull's eye rash (not always present)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Joint & muscle pain
  • Paralysis of the facial muscles (Bell's palsy)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm 

Why do I have a deer tick infestation?

If your property has wooded areas, lots of ground cover, and trees and shrubs as well as numerous wildlife passing through, your tick risk is much higher than those whose have well-manicured lawns and very little trees or tall grasses. 

How do I get rid of deer ticks?

In order to get rid of deer ticks that are infesting your yard, it would be wise to have your property treated by pest control professionals. If you suspect tick activity on your property, contact Miller Pest & Termite to find out how our pest control company eliminates & prevents deer ticks. 

How can I prevent a deer tick problem?

To make your yard less attractive to deer ticks, our pest control pros recommend:

  • Keeping your grass cut short
  • Clearing your property of tall grasses, brush & weeds
  • Raking up leaves
  • Eliminating rodent harborages (and rodents)
  • Creating a crushed rock/gravel barrier between lawns and areas such as patios and kid's play equipment
  • Discourage deer and other wildlife activity by installing fence and removing potential food sources
customer testimonial
Scott and Kent came out to access a rodent issue in my back yard. They very knowledgeable about the type of rodent and how to get rid of the problem. They were also very very professional and the customer service was the best I've seen in a very long time. I definitely will recommend them hands down! What an excellent job! Keep up the good work you two!!
Mike L. - Kansas City
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