GET STARTED

Lone Star Ticks

Active Seasons

Illustration representing the spring season
Illustration representing the summer season
Illustration representing the winter season
Illustration representing the fall season

Appearance and Size Facts

  • Lone Star ticks are Hard ticks that are brown in color
  • Long legs and long mouthparts
  • Adults exhibit sexual dimorphism - males are brown with a variation of white markings around the margin of the body, while females are brown with a silver to white colored spot in the middle of the scutum (shield covering the top part of the back)
  • Males also have a scutum that covers nearly the entire top of the body, while females have a scutum that cover roughly half of the body
  • Size: Adults are roughly 1/9 to 1/6 inch in length when unfed

Behavior and Habitat of Lone Star Ticks

Lone Star ticks are three-host feeders, meaning that a host is fed during the larval, nymphal, and adult life stages, between molting. Although different hosts are fed upon, Lone Star ticks are, in general, aggressive and generalist feeders in all stages. Larval ticks prefer birds and smaller mammals, while nymphal ticks and adult ticks prefer small mammals or rodents and medium to large sized mammals, respectively. After the female feeds in the adult stage, she will begin depositing roughly 5,000 eggs in the soil. Once eggs hatch, larvae go through a resting period and then begin searching for a host through questing. Seasonality peaks at different times throughout different areas of the country, although the warmer climate of Florida may support year-round activity of Lone Star ticks. Lone Star ticks can be found on the east coast of the United States, from Maine to Florida, and as far west as Texas, north to Iowa and Nebraska. Lone Star ticks are usually found in heavily wooded areas, especially in areas with heavy underbrush that also have populations of white-tailed deer.

Image of a magnifying glass

Signs of Infestation of Lone Star Ticks

Lone Star ticks cause many different types of diseases, including STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness), Human Monocytotropic Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Rickettsiosis, and more recently, the Heartland Virus. Although causative agent for Lyme Disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, has been isolated from a small sample of Lone Star ticks, research in 2005 has shown that these ticks are highly incapable of transmitting the disease.

An illustration representing a warning sign for bug infestation

Tips for Prevention of Lone Star Ticks

Removal of heavy underbrush and tall grasses may help to reduce Lone Star tick populations. Wearing a repellent product on clothing and skin may help to prevent tick questing, and is considered the best prevention by the Centers for Disease Control. Wearing light colored clothing, inspecting clothing and shoes, inspecting pets, inspecting your body, and showering after being in tick-prone areas are all recommended for prevention. Using a prescription or over-the-counter acaricide for dogs and cats can also help to reduce tick populations. Before using an acaricide, consult a veterinarian before choosing a particular product. If bitten by a tick, the tick should be removed using forceps rather than your fingers, and should be removed slowly, using a straight, pulling motion. Be careful to remove all portions of the mouthparts, as they are covered in backward-facing spines to help keep the tick attached to the host. After removing the tick, wash the area thoroughly and keep a watchful eye for post-removal infections.

A cropped image of a pencil

Lone Star Tick Gallery

Photograph of lone star tick
Photograph of lone star tick number 2
Photograph of lone star tick number 3

Latest Pest & Termite Control News

Be Thankful for a Pest-Free Home This Holiday Season

Be Thankful for a Pest-Free Home This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving starts off the holiday season in grand style with a sumptuous feast surrounded by family and friends. If you’re hosting one of these Thanksgiving gatherings, you‘ve probably got a lot on your to-do list getting ready for the big day.  Pests, such as roaches, ants, and...

Read More ›
How to Protect Your South Florida Home from Termites this Fall

How to Protect Your South Florida Home from Termites this Fall

In South Florida, an untreated home is always at risk for termite activity. In the fall season, termites do not swarm as heavily as compared to spring and summer, but this does not mean that they are not a threat. In fact, because they aren’t swarming, many homeowners might not even be aware...

Read More ›
They Creep, They Crawl, and They Are Here to Make Your Halloween Extra Scary!

They Creep, They Crawl, and They Are Here to Make Your Halloween Extra Scary!

What’s that skittering across your front lawn and slithering up your front steps? Could it be giant spiders, rabid rodents, massive hissing cockroaches, or trick-or-treaters?! It’s Halloween, a time to celebrate the scary side of South Florida! On October 31st, it’s fun to see...

Read More ›