Adult males and females are active October-May, as long as the daytime temperature remains above freezing. Preferring larger hosts, such as deer, adult blacklegged ticks can be found questing about knee-high on the tips of branches of low growing shrubs. Adult females readily attack humans and pets. Once females fully engorge on their blood meal, they drop off the host into the leaf litter, where they can over-winter. Engorged females lay a single egg mass (up to 1500-2000 eggs) in mid to late May, and then die. Larvae emerge from eggs later in the summer. Unfed female Blacklegged ticks are easily distinguished from other ticks by the orange-red body surrounding the black scutum. Males do not feed.
Just when you thought that the bloodsuckers of summer should be gone, some come back. TICKS. That's right! Not all types ... but one type that's especially dangerous - adult blacklegged ticks. Rather than being killed off by cooler nighttime temperatures -- even a frost or a freeze -- adult blacklegged tick populations are just rev-ving up, and they can strike ... well, like a Ticknado! And similar to being prepared for any other natural disaster, NOW is when you should have your tick bite protection toolkit ready and implemented.
If you think that recent nighttime temperatures dropping into the 20's is going to kill off the adult deer ticks crawling just about everywhere these days... well, think again! The killing frost may finish off your garden and the pesky mosquitoes that have remained around, but not the deer ticks. These ticks just don't die from the cold.
NPR's Bradley Campbell interviews Dr. Thomas Mather about the Fall tick season as he collects them by the hundreds.
"Most people try to avoid ticks. But not Tom Mather. The University of Rhode Island researcher goes out of his way to find them.
He looks for deer ticks — poppy seed-sized skin burrowers — in the woods of southern Rhode Island. These are the teeny-tiny carriers of Lyme disease, an illness that can lead to symptoms ranging from nasty rashes to memory loss".
YouTube Video: Tick Factoids: Adults
Tick Factoids : Adults from TickEncounter Resource Center is part two of a three part series full of well-known to lesser known facts about ticks. See how ticks mate and read more tick trivia.