Your Best Source For Learning About And Protecting Yourself from Ticks
Deer Tick & Related Species
Nick Names: Deer tick, Bear tick, Sheep tick, #(!&* Tick
Common Names: Western Black Legged tick, Black Legged tick, European Wood tick, Sheep tick
Formal Names: Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes dammini (no longer correct), Ixodes pacificus, Ixodes ricinus
Name Match Ups:
Deer tick – Black Legged tick – Ixodes scapularis – Ixodes dammini (no longer correct)
Bear Tick – Ixodes pacificus – Western Black Legged tick
Sheep Tick – Ixodes ricinus – European Wood tick
Description: Often confused with brown dog tick during later engorgement due to shield design. Mouth part is much longer than brown dog tick mouthparts. Brown dog ticks seldom attach to humans.
Repellents: Permethrin clothing treatment kills ticks and deet-based skin repellent helps repel them.
Clockwise from top: female, male, larval, nymph
The changing face as the deer tick engorges
Left to Right: unengorged female, 1/4 engorged, 1/2 engorged and fully engorged.
Note the circular dark spot above the mouthpart . . . this is the shield. The shield does not change as the tick engorges and it is the key component, along with mouthparts in identifying different ticks.
Because the engorged deer tick is often confused with the brown dog tick, we have included the same photo series so you can compare the two species. Although the shield appears dark and similar in shape the shorter mouthparts of the brown dog tick are easy to identify. Brown dog ticks seldom attack humans.
Brown dog tick engorgement sequence.