WESTERN BLACKLEGGED TICK
Where found: Along the Pacific coast of the U.S., particularly northern California.
Transmits: Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease.
Comments: Nymphs often feed on lizards, as well as other small animals. As a result, rates of infection are usually low (~1%) in adults. Stages most likely to bite humans are nymphs and adult females.
AMERICAN DOG TICK
Where found: Widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains. Also occurs in limited areas
on the Pacific Coast.
Transmits: Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Comments: The highest risk of being bitten occurs during spring and summer. Dog ticks are sometimes called wood ticks. Adult females are most likely to bite humans.
Where found: Throughout the western half of the U.S. and southwestern Canada.
Transmits: Tick-borne relapsing fever (Borrelia hermsii, B. parkerii, or B. turicatae)
Comments: Humans typically come into contact with soft ticks when they sleep in rodent infested cabins. The ticks emerge at night and feed briefly while the person is sleeping. The bites are painless, and most people are unaware that they have been bitten.
Where found: Throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada.
Transmits: Powassan disease.
Comments: Also called woodchuck ticks. All life stages feed on a variety of warmblooded animals, including groundhogs, skunks, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, weasels, and occasionally people and domestic animals.
LONE STAR TICK
Where found: Widely distributed in the southeastern and eastern United States.
Comments: A very aggressive tick that bites humans. The adult female is distinguished by a white dot or “lone star” on her back. Lone star tick saliva can be irritating; redness and discomfort at a bite site does not necessarily indicate an infection. The nymph and adult females most frequently bite humans and transmit disease.
© Mayo Foundation for Medical Research -
Tick Life Cycle
The life cycle of the hard tick Ixodes dammini, a carrier of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in humans, requires two years for completion. Eggs are deposited in the spring, and larvae emerge several weeks later and feed once during the summer, usually on the blood of small mammals.
Most ticks of public health importance follow this pattern, including members of the general
Ixodes (Lyme borreliosis, babesiosis, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis),
Amblyomma (tularemia, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever)
Dermacentor (Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, tularemia, tick paralysis),
Rhipicephalus (Rocky Mountain spotted fever, boutonneuse fever).
TICK LIFE CYCLE
©Baxter Healthcare Tick Animation
National medical, educational, and research Lyme organizations
Nonprofit, international, multi-disciplinary medical society, dedicated to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Lyme and its associated diseases
Private nonprofit organization in the United States dedicated to finding a cure and accurate test for Lyme disease as well as educating physicians and the public about the dangers of Lyme.
Founded in 1989, LymeDisease.org advocates nationally for quality accessible healthcare for patients with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. We are committed to shaping health policy through advocacy, legal and ethical analysis, education, physician training and medical research.
Focused on prevention and early diagnosis education, Project Lyme, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is putting a spotlight on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
U.S. Tick testing laboratories
www.bayarealyme.org (free testing)
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