Like all species of ticks, the Deer Tick requires a blood meal during each stage of development until they reach full maturity. Deer Ticks have a two year life cycle:
- Year one - The female lays approximately 3,000 eggs underneath the leaf debris and then dies. Nymphs hatch in spring, larvae active more in late summer, early fall. Both feed on small rodents. Greatest chance of Lyme disease occurs during this time. Larvae will over winter in leaf debris. This stresses the need to remove leaf debris eliminating their harborage.
- Year two - Adults occur in summer and fall, feed on large animals such as deer, and lay eggs in leaf debris in the fall and over winter in it.
Larvae and adults are very linear in movement (up and down). During the Winter/Spring there is an up and downward movement as they search for a host during warmer parts of the day.
They become inactive in temperatures below 45 degree Fahrenheit which under normal circumstance would mean that they become active in late February or early March. However, since we have had a warmer winter they have been active earlier this year.
Maintaining the lawn is the key to an effective tick removal program. This would also include those areas along the periphery of our property. Discouraging the host (deer and mice) of the tick from coming onto your property is also important factor controlling their numbers. Following these procedures coupled with a pest management program will keep these blood sucking disease carriers at bay.