The Lone Star TickThe lone star tick is a common tick that is rapidly expanding throughout the northern and western portions of the country.
These ticks are common in second-growth woodland habitats, especially in areas with exceptional amounts of white-tail deer.
HOW TO IDENTIFY LONE STAR TICKS
Lone star ticks can be identified by prominent white marks–like a star–on their backs. Both males and females of this species have noticeable white marks, but those on females are much more distinguished. These ticks are often confused for black-legged ticks.
Appearance and Behavior
These ticks prefer damp, shady areas with the tall brush. They are three-host ticks, taking a meal from the blood of three different hosts when they are in their larval, nymphal, and adult stages.
After feeding on each host, the tick falls to the ground and either molt or lays eggs. These ticks most commonly infect humans as well as large mammals, like cattle or horses.
Lone star ticks begin breeding after a female consumes a blood meal and drops off. In just a few days, each female can lay over 5,000 eggs. Protected areas with high humidity are needed for proper egg development, with eggs hatching in only a few days.
These ticks are most active on warm days during May and June, but can also emerge on unseasonably warm days in the winter and spring.