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Ticks in Florida

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Tick Life Cycle

General tick life cycle (may vary depending on tick species)

There are four life stages of ticks, egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Adult ticks more commonly attach to humans in the fall and winter months. However, most people are infected by ticks in the nymphal stage during the spring and summer as nymphs are often small enough to escape notice, increasing risk of disease transmission.

Most people are infected by nymphal stages during the spring and summer. Nymphs are often small enough to escape notice and so can stay attached longer than adults, increasing risk of disease transmission.

  • Blacklegged Tick
  • Lone Star Tick
  • American Dog Tick
  • Gulf Coast Tick
  • Bont Tick *Not from florida, may be brought in from the Caribbean*
  • Argasid Tick ("Soft Tick")

black leggged tick

Species Name

Ixodes scapularis

Seasonal Abundance

April-August: Larvae and Nymphs

September-May: Adults

Primary Hosts

Larvae and Nymphs: Reptiles (skinks and snakes), birds, and some rodents

Adults: Larger animals including cattle and humans

Associated Diseases

Lyme Disease, Babesiosis

More Information

Blacklegged Tick Information – University of Florida IFAS Extension

Lone Star tick

Species Name

Amblyomma americanum

Seasonal Abundance

Larvae: June-November

Nymphs: February-October

Adults: April-August (peak in July)

Primary Hosts

Larvae and Nymphs: Small mammals and birds, do not feed on rodents

Adults: Deer, cattle, and humans

Associated Diseases

Ehrlichiosis/Anaplasmosis, STARI

More Information

Lone Star Tick Information – University of Florida IFAS Extension

American dog tick

Species Name

Dermacentor variabilis

Seasonal Abundance

Larvae: July-February

Nymphs: January-March

Adults: March-September

Primary Hosts

Larvae and Nymphs: Almost exclusively small rodents, particularly mice and cotton rats

Adults: Large variety of mammals and humans

Associated Diseases

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

More Information

American Dog Tick Information – University of Florida IFAS Extension

Gulf Coast tick

Species Name

Amblyomma maculatum 

Seasonal Abundance

Nymphs: February-August

Adults: March-November

Primary Hosts

Larvae and Nymphs: Small rodents and ground dwelling birds

Adults: Large variety of mammals and humans (primarily ears of large mammals)

Associated Diseases

Rickettsia parkeri

More Information

Gulf Coast Tick Information – University of Florida IFAS Extension

Bont Tick

Species Name

Amblyomma variegatum

Seasonal Abundance

*Not currently in Florida, could be introduced from the Caribbean*

Associated Diseases

African tick-bite fever, Heartwater in ruminants, and Dermatophilosis (skin infection)

More Information

Bont Tick Information – University of Florida IFAS Extension

Argasid tick also know as the

Family

Argasidae

Life Cycle

Adult females can feed and lay eggs several times during their lifetime. Soft tick species may also undergo more than one nymphal molt before reaching the adult stage.

Habitat

Animal shelters or burrows, caves, poor-quality human dwellings

Associated Diseases

Ehrlichiosis/Anaplasmosis, STARI