POINTS TO REMEMBER
and nymphal ticks feed and can transmit diseases.
ticks do not feed and do not transmit diseases.
a deer tick within 24 hours greatly reduces the
likelihood of Lyme disease transmission.
all ticks are infected. On average 20-40% of
deer ticks are able to transmit diseases.
long as temperatures are above freezing, deer ticks
are active the entire year. Peak activity months are
May to June (Nymphs) and October/November and again in
& Removing Ticks
deer ticks must feed for at least 24 hours before they
can begin to transmit the Lyme disease
bacterium. Therefore you should remove ticks as
soon as possible. Take a shower after outdoor
activity and put clothes in the dryer (dry heat will
kill ticks). Check your body thoroughly, paying
close attention to the armpits, the groin and
neck. Use the buddy system! Look for ticks
nightly, especially if you have young children.
ticks with tweezers only (bent,
"needle-nose" tweezers are best).
Apply steady backward force until the tick is
dislodged. Do NOT use alcohol, nail polish, hot
matches, petroleum jelly or other methods to remove
ticks. These methods may actually traumatize
ticks, causing them to regurgitate their gut contents,
which may include the Lyme disease bacterium.
the live tick for indentification by the Rutgers
Cooperative Extension office in the County.
Lyme disease is spread by the deer
tick (now called the black legged tick). Ticks
feed on the blood of animals, and infected ticks
prefers to feed on wild animals especially mice and
deer, they will also feed on dogs, cats, livestock and
female deer tick has a tear drop shape with a
reddish orange abdomen and solid black dorsal
shield. The male is smaller and a
uniform black in color. The nymph also
has a tear drop shape, but is a dark brown to
black in color.
female lone star tick is more roundish and has
single, white spot in the center of it's
body. The male, also round, has a
chestnut brown color with no distinguishing
markings. The nymph is a uniform light
brown color and round in comparison to the
female dog tick is oblong with white markings
on the dorsal shield. The abdomen is
dark brown. The male has white markings
over the entire body. The nymph is
oblong and a solid dark brown in color.
The deer tick is found in the
shrubbery understory of the forest, in high grassy
areas, and in open fields. ticks do not jump or
fly - they crawl up vegetation and wait for an animal
to brush against them. They then climb upon the
animal and insert their mouth parts. They will
feed on blood for 3 to 5 days. Following a blood
meal, the tick swells to more than four times its
normal size and then drops to the ground.
people visit or live near the woods and other deer
tick habitats they run a high risk of contracting Lyme
disease. Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis are other
diseases vectored by ticks. For your own safety,
become familiar with tick habits and habitats, and
learn how to prevent tick bites.
you live, your hobbies, and your habits may influence
your risk of a tick bite. Notice in particular
these high risk factors:
yard surrounded by dense woods
bird baths, bird feeders
outdoor pets that come indoors
woodpiles, brush piles, rock walls
swingsets; treehouses in the woods
outdoor occupations; landscapers,
utility line workers, farmers, etc.
outdoor recreation: freshwater
fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, etc.
viewing deer in the yard.
Last modified: Saturday, December 13, 2003
deer ticks and nymphal lone star ticks are most
active from May through early July when most cases
of Lyme disease are contracted.
Outdoor pursuits need
not be discontinued as long as precautions are taken to
prevent a tick bite:
grass and shrubbery areas
light-colored clothing (ticks are easier to see)
pants tucked into socks
trails through woods (to 6 feet)
low shrub vegetation in woods
are applied to clothing and/or skin and repel 82 to
100% of ticks.