All three active stages of this tick will feed on many hosts including people. The deer tick is a three-host tick with each stage feeding on a different host. After egg hatch in the spring, the tiny larvae feed on a wide variety of birds and small mammals such as white-footed mice. After feeding, the engorged larvae drop to the ground where they will overwinter. In late spring, these larvae change into the 8-legged nymph. During the summer, they will feed on larger warm-blooded animals and people. In October, the nymphs become adults that feed primarily on deer. The females lay their eggs the following spring. Adult females are reddish-black and about 1/8 inch long.
Deer ticks are found in wooded areas along trails with larvae and nymphs active in spring and early summer while adults are most active in spring and fall. They are distributed throughout North Carolina.
Deer ticks are the primary vector of Lyme Disease.
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