Female Deer Ticks

Female deer ticks, also called the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) feed on hosts. They engorge themselves during feeding and may expand considerably larger than their original size. Females then drop from their hosts to the ground, where they produce eggs only once prior to dying. One female deer tick is capable of producing up to 3,000 eggs in a single breeding. They lay their eggs near plants in wet surroundings.

Female deer ticks are known vectors of several diseases. They can contract these diseases during their immature feeding stages and pass the diseases on as nymphs and as adults. Deer ticks are medically important for being an important vector of Lyme disease. If detected early, Lyme disease can be treated. If undetected, it can prove fatal.

Deer tick bites are virtually painless, and victims often do not recognize that they have been bitten until symptoms appear. Campers and hikers should always check themselves thoroughly. Deer tick females feed for extended periods and can be found attached to the skin of bite victims. If there are medical concerns, consult a physician.