TICKS:

Common Ticks of the Southeast

Throughout the southeastern United States there are five species of ticks that are commonly encountered but several more that live in this range. Below we list the species of tick, it’s common name, and diseases each tick species is known to vector.

Photo: CDC

Blacklegged Tick
Ixodes scapularis

Known vector of:
Lyme disease
Anaplasmosis
Borrelia miyamotoi
Ehrlichiosis
Babesiosis
Powassan disease

 

Photo: CDC

American Dog Tick
Dermacentor variabilis

Known vector of:
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Tularemia

 

Photo: CDC

Gulf Coast Tick

Amblyomma maculatum

Known vector of:
R. parkeri rickettsiosis

Photo: CDC

Brown Dog Tick
Rhipicephalus sanguineus

Known vector of:
Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Photo: CDC

Tick Life Cycle

Tick life cycles vary depending on which tick species and where in the world the tick is found. Most ticks in the Southeast are have four life stages: eggs, six-legged larvae, nymphs and adults. Different species of ticks also may use different hosts, or the same type of host for their blood meals in between life stages.

Ticks of different life stages and species can be different sizes especially if they are engorged from a blood meal.

Photo: CDC

Here is an example of the blacklegged tick life cycle over several seasons

Photo: CDC

Here is an example of the brown dog ticks life cycle and the transmission of Rickettsia rickettsii which causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Photo: CDC

The Southeastern Regional Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Florida.
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