Role of the Tick

Ticks do not jump, fly or drop from trees. They wait and then grasp passing hosts from tips of grass, low-lying shrubs, and leaf litter. 

The majority of ticks grasp onto the lower leg and then crawl up the body seeking a warm place to feed and hide. Deer ticks live in the woods, sustained by the higher humidity levels of the forest or in shaded, sheltered areas. The tiny nymphal deer tick makes its home in the leaf litter that accumulates on the forest floor, around stonewalls and under groundcovers.

Know where ticks live and avoid these habitats.  Good property management reduces habitats where ticks like to live.

picture of mouse

Role of the mouse

The white-footed mouse is the primary carrier of the Lyme disease spirochete in CT.  Deer ticks become infected with the Lyme disease spirochete after feeding on an infected mouse.

White-footed mice live in wooded or brushy areas.  They build their nests in hollow logs, tree stumps, cracks in rocks, or burrow underground. They feed on seeds, leaves, insects and small rodents, and are active all year round.

Role of the Deer

Deer play a critical role in the reproduction of the deer tick. Deer live at the edge of the woods, where they feed on shrubs and other small plants as they move throughout their territory. Deer transport ticks from property to property. Deer do not infect ticks with Lyme disease.  Ticks become infected after feeding on infected mice and other small mammals, such as chipmunks.

Deer browse a wide variety of flowers and shrubs, many commonly used by homeowners to landscape their properties. Landscaped yards provide deer with an ideal food source.

More about the Tick Lifecycle
More about Deer
See Typical Tick Habitats

 

Next:  Analyzing your property to create tick safe zones. 
Click on the tick when ready

 
 

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