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Hard Tick

See a healthcare provider if you become ill after a tick bite or spending time in areas where ticks commonly live. Be sure to mention a recent tick bite or time spent in tick habitat to your healthcare provider.

hard tick

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To learn more about tick bite prevention and how to keep ticks out of your yard, visit Tick Frequently Asked Questions.Resources for EducatorsMaine CDC developed vectorborne school curricula for 3rd-8th grade classrooms. The curriculum is aligned with Maine Learning Results. School nurses, teachers, and other youth leaders are encouraged to use this resource in their classrooms.

The Maine Tracking Network uses data from case reports, surveys, and tick submissions to help understand the spread of tickborne diseases in Maine. The dashboard includes real-time data, maps, charts, and graphs for anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Lyme disease.

Blacklegged ticks (a.k.a deer ticks) take 2 years to complete their life cycle from eggs and larvae in one calendar year to nymphs and adults in the next. This tick is encountered predominately in deciduous forest as well as tall grasslands and shrubs bordering forest edges. Their distribution relies greatly on the distribution of their reproductive host, white-tailed deer. Both the poppy seed-sized nymph stage and the larger adult female stage are responsible for transmitting diseases such as Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis.

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 engorge and, although infected like the female, they are not involved in transmitting infections. Males are frequently found coupled with females, mating even off-host.

In Minnesota, there are about a dozen different types of ticks. Not all of them spread disease but it is always best to protect yourself against tick bites. The most common ticks that people come across in Minnesota are the American dog tick (commonly known as the wood tick) and the blacklegged tick (commonly known as the deer tick). The blacklegged tick causes by far the most tickborne diseases in Minnesota. The diseases spread by ticks in Minnesota include:

Minnesota residents who travel to other countries or certain areas of the United States may become sick with one of the tickborne diseases listed above or other tickborne diseases. Avoidance of tick bites and use of tick repellent are recommended when traveling to potential tick habitat within affected areas. For more information on international travel, visit International Travel & Infectious Disease.

Aim: The present study was carried out to identify the Ixodidae ticks fauna of livestock and their seasonal activity in the cities of Boyer-Ahmad and Dena of Kohgiluyeh Province, south-west of Iran.

Results: During the study, a total of 1273 hard ticks from four genera, including Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma, Dermacentor, and Haemaphysalis, were collected. Rhipicephalus sanguineus (s.l.) had the highest frequencies in both cities with 62.08 and 62.88% of collected specimens, followed by Hyalomma scupense with 14.36 and 13.54% in Boyer-Ahmad and Dena, respectively. Furthermore, Hyalomma marginatum with only one sample or 0.12% of collected ticks showed the lowest frequencies in the studied areas. Dermacentor marginatus with three samples or 0.37% was recorded only in Boyer-Ahmad, and Haemaphysalis sulcata with two samples or 0.43% was recorded only in Dena. In both cities, sheep were the most infested ruminant, and the ears in sheep and goats were the most affected areas. The highest activity was observed in spring, and the lowest activity was observed in winter and autumn.

5. Mansfield, K.L., Jizhou, L., Phipps, L.P. and Johnson, N. (2017) Emerging tick-borne viruses in the twenty-first century. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol., 7: 298.[Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

6. Jafarbekloo, A., Vatandoost, H., Davari, A., Faghihi, F., Bakhshi, H., Ramzgouyan, M., Nasrabadi, M. and Telmadarraiy, Z. (2014) Distribution of tick species infesting domestic ruminants in borderline of Iran-Afghanistan. J. Biomed. Sci. Eng., 7: 982-987.[Crossref]

7. Sofizadeh, A., Telmadarraiy, Z., Rahnama, A., Gorganli-Davaji, A. and Hosseini-Chegeni, A. (2014) Hard tick species of livestock and their bioecology in Golestan province, North of Iran. J. Arthropod Borne Dis., 8(1): 108-116.

8. Whitfield, Z., Kelman, M. and Ward, M.P. (2017) Delineation of an endemic tick paralysis zone in southeastern Australia. Vet. Parasitol., 247: 42-48.[Crossref] [PubMed]

12. Rodriguez-Vivas RI, Jonsson NN, Bhushan C. (2017) Strategies for the control of Rhipicephalus microplus ticks in a world of conventional acaricide and macrocyclic lactone resistance. Parasitol. Res., 117(1): 3-29.[Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

18. Salari-Lak, S., Telmadarraiy, Z., Entezar-Mahdi, R. and Kia, E.B. (2008) Seasonal activity of ticks and their importance in tick-borne infectious diseases in West Azerbaijan, Iran. J. Arthropod Borne Dis., 2(2): 28-34.

20. Asgarian, F., Enayati, A.A., Amouei, A. and Yazdani-Charati, J. (2011) Fauna, geographical distribution and seasonal activity of hard ticks from Sari township in 2007-2008. J. Mazandaran Univ. Med. Sci., 21(83): 25-33.

21. Riabi, H. and Atarodi, A. (2014) Faunistic study of hard ticks (Ixodidae) of domestic ruminants in the Southern Khorasan-e-Razavi in comparing with other regions of the province in 2012 Iran. J. Vet. Adv., 4(5): 508-515.

22. Davari, B., Alam, F.N., Nasirian, H., Nazari, M., Abdigoudarzi, M. and Salehzadeh, A. (2017) Seasonal distribution and faunistic of ticks in the Alashtar county (Lorestan Province), Iran. Pan Afr. Med. J., 27: 284.[Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

27. Gray, J., Dautel, H., Estrada-Pe-a, A., Kahl, O. and Lindgren, E. (2009) Effects of climate change on ticks and tick-borne diseases in Europe. Interdiscip. Perspect. Infect. Dis.,Article ID 593232.[PubMed] [PMC]

28. Dantas-Torres, F. (2010) Biology and ecology of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Parasit. Vectors, 3(1): 26.[Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

31. Noaman, V., Abdi-goudarzi, M., Nabinejad, A.R., Heidari, M.R. and Khalilifard, M. (2009) Identification of hard ticks of domestic ruminants in two ecological zones of Isfahan province, Iran. J. Pajouhesh Sazandegi, 77: 88-95.

38. Hornok, S., Flaisz, B., Takacs, N., Kontschan, J., Csorgo, T., Csipak, A., Jaksa, B.R. and Kovats, D. (2016) Bird ticks in Hungary reflect Western, Southern, Eastern flyway connections and two genetic lineages of Ixodes frontalis and Haemaphysalis concinna. Parasit. Vectors, 9: 101.[Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

39. Taheriyan, S.M.R., Kayedi, M.H., Hosseini-Chegeni, A. and Behrahi, A. (2014) Identification of Genus and species of hard and soft ticks collected from livestock in Khorramabad districts, Lorestan Province, Iran. Yafte J. Med. Sci., 16(2): 5-16.

42. Meng, K., L.I. Z., Wang, Y., Jing, Z., Zhao, X., Liu, J., Cai, D., Zhang, L., Yang, D., Wang, S. (2014) PCR-based detection of Theileria annulata in Hyalomma asiaticum ticks in Northwestern China. Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 5(2): 105-106.[Crossref] [PubMed]

43. Cajimat, M., Rodriguez, S.E., Schuster, I.U.E., Swetnam, D.M., Ksiazek, T.G., Habela, MA., Negredo, A.I., Estrada-Pe-a, A., Barrett, A.D.T. and Bente, D.A. (2017) Genomic characterization of crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever virus in hyalomma tick from Spain, 2014. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis., 17(10): 714-719.[Crossref] [PubMed]

A tick's mouth is covered in hooks that help it dig into the skin and stay attached for several days. This young tick's mouth was photographed under the microscope at San Francisco State University. Annette Chan/KQED hide caption

"Ticks have a lovely, evolved mouth part for doing exactly what they need to do, which is extended feeding," said Kerry Padgett, supervising public health biologist at the California Department of Public Health in Richmond. "They're not like a mosquito that can just put their mouth parts in and out nicely, like a hypodermic needle." Instead, a tick digs in using two sets of hooks. Each set looks like a hand with three hooked fingers. The hooks dig in and wriggle into the skin. Then these "hands" bend in unison to perform approximately half-a-dozen breaststrokes that pull skin out of the way so the tick can push in a long stubby mouth part called the hypostome.

A tick nymph, or young tick, has dug its mouth into a human arm. Left to its own devices, this western blacklegged tick nymph will stay attached for three to four days, during which time it will drink enough blood to later molt and grow into an adult. Josh Cassidy/KQED hide caption

Ticks need to stay firmly attached because they're going in for a meal that can last three to 10 days, depending on whether they're young ticks or adult females. Compare that to a speedy mosquito, which digs into human skin, sucks blood and leaves, all within seconds.

For ticks, the stakes are high because instead of taking small meals they need to gorge themselves each time. A western blacklegged tick, the species that transmits Lyme bacteria to humans along the Pacific coast, lives three years. But in that time it only eats three huge meals, each one necessary for it to grow to its next life stage. It needs enough blood to grow from larva to nymph, nymph to adult and then for females to lay their eggs. 041b061a72


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