Lone Star Tick


Lone Star Tick

Lone Star ticks get their name by the unique white dot on the center of the female lone star tick’s back. The male lone star tick have scattered spots around the margins of its body. The Lone Star tick is about 1/3 inches long before feeding and can grow up to ½ in. long after feeding has occurred.  They mostly feed warm blooded animals and are capable of transmitting several diseases.

Ticks are most abundant during the spring and summer seasons. Some of the most common illnesses caused by Lone Star ticks are STARI (Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness), Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, and  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. STARI reacts with a circular rash similar in appearance with the Lyme disease.

Lone star ticks are most commonly found through the south eastern and central states. Illnesses from ticks can be prevented by avoiding thick habitats such as dense woods and brushy areas. After an outdoor activity one should a check outerwear for appearance of ticks and promptly remove them if found.

Lone star ticks develop through four different stages of egg, larva (seed ticks), nymph, and adult like the other species of ticks. However, they are referred to as a three host tick because with different stages of their life cycle they feed on different hosts. Ticks feed by making a small cut on to the skin with their piercing mouth parts. Once they insert their mouth parts they set their barbed mouth onto the skin and secrete a fluid that cements their mouthparts to the skin.

After their last feed, female ticks die soon after they lay their eggs, while male ticks die soon after mating. Female ticks lay eggs in clusters of thousands. In average, it will take the tick up to 3 years to complete its full life cycle.

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Date: Friday, 11. February 2011 11:34
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