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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Tick Information

Contact the Florida Department of Health

Tick Life Cycle

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

General tick life cycle

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.

Black-Legged Tick

black leggged tick

Species Name Ixodes scapularis
Seasonal Abundance
Larvae and Nymphs
Adults September-May
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

Black-legged tick at University of Florida IFAS Extension:

Lone Star Tick

Lone Star tick

Species Name Amblyomma americanum
Seasonal Abundance
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

Lone star tick at Texas A&M University Entomology:

American Dog Tick

American dog tick

Species Name Dermacentor variabilis
Seasonal Abundance
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

American dog tick at University of Florda IFAS Extension: 

Gulf Coast Tick

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

Gulf Coast tick at Texas A&M University Entomology:

Bont Tick

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)

Bont tick at the University of Florida:

Argasid Tick ("Soft Tick")

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