Ixodes scapularis
Also called black legged tick and the bear tick.
They are the same tick.
These ticks are much smaller than the wood (or dog) tick.

Life Cycle
They live two to three years and have three blood meals.  
The life cycle begins when the female lays eggs.  
The larva is the size of a period at the end of this sentence.
The larva does not carry diseases such as,
Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis, or babesiois
They pick up diseases during feeding from a diseased host.
Larvae usually feed on mice or other small mammals.
If the mouse is infected with disease-causing organisms,
the larva will become infected and be able to transmit
these organisms during its second or third feeding.
The tick may also feed on a small mammal or bird that is not infected.
These ticks cannot transmit disease in later feedings.
After this feeding, the larvae molt into nymphs
and become dormant until the following spring.
In the second year, nymphs molt into adults.
Female adults are red or orange and larger than the males.
The adult female tick feeds and mates on large animals in the fall or early spring.
The female then lays her eggs and dies.
If the ticks did not get a blood meal in the fall,
they go dormant over winter and seek a meal in the spring.
A frost will not kill black legged ticks.
Adults may become active as soon as it is above freezing.
They are occasionally spotted during a temporary thaw in the winter.
As female ticks feed over the course of several days,
their bodies slowly enlarge with blood.
Adult females infected with disease agents as larvae or nymphs
transmit any  disease they may have contracted during this feeding.
Male ticks attach, but do not feed or become engorged.  
Because the adult males do not take a blood meal,
they do not transmit Lyme disease, Human Anaplasmosis, or Babesiosis.
If the female tick is infected with a disease,
it must be attached for 24-48 hours before it transmits Lyme disease,
and at least 12-24 hours to transmit human anaplasmosis.  
These ticks live in wooded, brushy areas that
provide food and cover for mice, deer and other mammals.
This habitat also provides the humidity ticks need to live.
Exposure to ticks may be greatest in the woods (especially along trails)
and the fringe area between the woods and border.
Ticks search for a host from the tips of low-lying vegetation and shrubs,
not from trees.  
Generally, ticks attach to a person or animal near ground level.
Blacklegged ticks crawl; they do not jump or fly.
They grab onto people or animals that brush against vegetation,
and then they crawl upwards to find a place to bite.
They can be found everywhere that  mammals live they do not have to have deer in their habitat.

Dangers Of Ticks
Tick's can cause skin irritation and damage in dogs
This particular tick is the primary cause of Lyme disease and other pathogens.

Permethrin clothing treatment kills ticks and
deet based skin repellent helps repel them
Proper parasite management is essential in preventing an infestation
or your dog becoming infected with a Tick pathogen.
These include preventative insecticides in the yard and tick control measures on your dog,
especially if they are a outside animal or field dog.
Repellent products are available both over the counter
and from your Veterinarian to utilize directly on your dog.
Check your dog routinely for ticks
Keep lawns mowed, brush trimmed,
and leaf litter away from the home.
Keep trails or paths in wooded areas
on your property clear of vegetation.

Human Animals and Deer Ticks

Since the mid-1980s, however, bacteria of the genus Ehrlichia
have increasingly infected humans in the United States

Babesiosis is a tick-borne disease caused by malaria-like parasites of the genus Babesia

Lyme Disease
Has now been reported in most parts of the United States

John A Sampson I
K9 Training
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