All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<strong>Deer Tick; Black-Legged tick</strong>
<em>Ixodes scapularis</em>
May 23, 2008

I pulled this tiny Deer Tick out of my husband's leg, he found it after mowing the grass. Ironically, we had seen 3 deer in our yard earlier in the day.  The fla...
Deer Tick; Black-Legged tick
Ixodes scapularis
May 23, 2008

I pulled this tiny Deer Tick out of my husband's leg, he found it after mowing the grass. Ironically, we had seen 3 deer in our yard earlier in the day. The flat, barbed mouthpart is visible in the middle of the head. Ticks often secrete "cementum" to help anchor them as they feed. It is important to always get the head out when removing a tick. When these critters bite, they inject neurotoxin-containing saliva which keeps the host from feeling them as they feed. The saliva may have a blood thinner, which not only makes it easier for the tick to eat, but it often causes an allergic reaction, resulting in intense itching (which can be awkward to scratch in the places where ticks seem to prefer, if you get my drift!). I once got into a "nest" of tick larvae (or nymphs) during one of my outings. There were hundreds of tiny ticks on my thighs and middle section. I am very allergic to tick venom, they caused me to have severe itching where I had been bitten. I bruised my thighs from scratching them in my sleep. It finally took a round of steroids to relieve the itching.
Some helpful tick websites:
Tick Information
Tick Diseases

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