Ticks

Common pest species found in New York:

American Dog Tick / Wood Tick

Dermacentor variabilis

Size: 1/8–1/5 inch long (3.5–5 mm); about the size of a flax seed; females may expand up to 3/5 inch long after feeding

Color: Brown or reddish-brown with silvery markings

Shape: Flat, oval-shaped body with a small head, large abdomen, scutum (shield-like plate on its back), and 8 legs; no antennae or wings

Legs: 8 bendy-looking legs; each one has 7 segments and a tiny claw at the tip

Head: Small, rectangular head with straight mouthparts that are relatively short and broad compared to other tick species

Body: Oval-shaped abdomen with pie crust-shaped grooves (festoons) on the rear edges; females become large and bloated after a blood meal (about the size of a skittle)

Scutum: Look for an ornate, mottled-looking scutum with silvery or cream-colored markings; females have short scuta with a pale halo about 1/2 the length of the abdomen, while males have large scuta with pale streaks that cover the entire back

Brown Dog Tick

Rhipicephalus sanguineus

Size: 1/12–1/8 inch long (2-3 mm); about the size of a small sesame seed; females may expand up to 1/2 inch long after feeding

Color: Yellowish-to-reddish brown

Shape: Flat, elongated, oval-shaped body with a small head, large abdomen, scutum (shield-like plate on its back), and 8 legs; no antennae or wings

Legs: 8 bendy-looking legs; each one has 7 segments and a tiny claw at the tip

Head: Short, hexagonal-shaped head with triangular mouthparts

Body: Long, oval-shaped abdomen with pie crust-shaped grooves (festoons) on the rear edges; females become large and bloated after a blood meal

Scutum: Look for a reddish-to-medium brown scutum without any colored markings; females have short scuta about 1/2 the length of the abdomen, while males have large scuta that cover the entire back

Deer Tick / Eastern Black-Legged Tick

Ixodes scapularis

Size: 1/16–1/8 inch long (1-3 mm); about the size of a poppy seed; females may expand up to 1/2 inch long after feeding

Color: Females are reddish-orange with a dark brown scutum; males are dark brown

Shape: Small, flat, oval-shaped body with a small head, large abdomen, scutum (shield-like plate on its back), and 8 legs; no antennae or wings

Legs: 8 bendy-looking legs; each one has 7 segments and a tiny claw at the tip

Head: Small, rectangular head with straight mouthparts that are long and narrow

Body: Oval-shaped abdomen with smooth edges (look for the absence of festoons); females become large and bloated after a blood meal (about the size of a raisin)

Scutum: Look for a solid, dark brown-to-black scutum; females have short scuta about 1/2 the length of the abdomen, while males have large scuta that cover the entire back

Lone Star Tick

Amblyomma americanum

Size: 1/8–1/6 inch long (3–4 mm); about the size of a large sesame seed; females may expand up to 1/2 inch long after feeding

Color: Reddish-brown with white markings

Shape: Flat, round, oval-shaped body with a small head, large abdomen, scutum (shield-like plate on its back), and 8 legs; no antennae or wings

Legs: 8 bendy-looking legs; each one has 7 segments and a tiny claw at the tip

Head: Small, rectangular head with straight mouthparts that are long and narrow

Body: Round, oval-shaped abdomen that’s more circular than other tick species, with pie crust-shaped grooves (festoons) on the rear edges; on males, the festoons may have small, white or cream-colored ornations; females become large and bloated after a blood meal

Scutum: On females, look for the characteristic silvery-white spot on the rear portion of the scutum (right on the center of its back); males have less obvious dark markings in the center of the scutum with occasional white streaks around the edges