Thursday, May 2, 2019

Tick season in Tennessee

Tick season is heating up in Tennessee, with lots of lone star ticks active in the woods and my dogs has been bringing home American dog ticks each evening. These tick species can spread spotted fevers and red meat allergy, so please take precautions!

Regarding Lyme disease risk, that disease is spread by blacklegged ticks ("deer ticks"). Adult blacklegged ticks are winter-active and most of them are already back down in the leaf litter by this time of year - they will reappear in late October. Over the summer, it's the nymphal life-stage of this tick species that you need to be watching for, and this is a friendly reminder that nymphs (see photo) are much smaller than many people realize!

Be tick-safe out there!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Videos: blacklegged tick egg-laying and larval hatch


Ventral view of oviposition (timelapse)



Larval hatch (timelapse)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Lyme disease agent detected in blacklegged tick populations in eastern Tennessee.

Comparison of blacklegged tick surveys done in eastern Tennessee in 2006 (A) versus 2017 (B) ... Lyme disease agent newly detected in 4 counties!


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Gulf Coast tick vs. American dog tick

Two adult males: a Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum) on the left; an American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) on the right.  Both collected in eastern Tennessee, July 2018.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Nymphal longhorned ticks, at first glance, look quite similar to nymphal lone stars.

Nymphal life-stage of the exotic, invasive longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) on the left, compared to a nymphal lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) on the right. Similar on first glance, but on second glance their mouthparts are distinctively different!

These guys were collected in June 2018 from vegetation in southwestern Virginia.







Sunday, July 15, 2018

It's the time of year to start checking for Lone Star tick larvae

It's that time of year ... out in the woods, Lone Star tick egg-masses are starting to hatch into larvae.  Lint rollers are your friend!






Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Know your nymphs!

Three nymphs of blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, three nymphs of lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, and eight nymphs of the exotic longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis.

Source: https://fonseca-lab.com/category/research-projects/ticks-tick-borne-diseases/



Friday, April 6, 2018

Larval engorgement photo-series

A time series of larval blacklegged tick engorgement.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Life stages of the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis)


 Male and female - active from late fall through spring.




Nymphs - active in late spring through summer



 Larvae - active mid to late summer



Engorged female with egg mass laid in winter.  Eggs hatch mid-summer.



Female and male on a deer - only females become engorged.



"Dragging" to collect host-seeking ticks from vegetation