Habit: Ticks are usually found from ground level to three feet above the ground.
Diet: In its immature stages, the larvae and nymphs feed on small rodents such as rabbits, lizards, and birds. Adults feed on larger animals such as deer, dogs, and humans. In all of the stages, the tick feeds by imbedding its mouth parts into the skin of the host and taking in a meal of blood.
Reproduction: Adult female hard ticks feed only once and lay one large batch of eggs, often containing as many as 10,000 or more. Tick larvae will hatch from the eggs in anywhere from two weeks to several months.
Lyme Disease: Lyme disease typically peaks in May through July, when the ticks that carry the disease are most active. Lyme, Borrelia burgdorferi, reaches people through tick bites after moving through a chain of other species. Burgdorferi typically live in mice, chipmunks, birds, and deer in wooded areas. And these are all animals that ticks feast on. The tick is in fact quite vampire-like - not an insect, but in the same family as the spider, mite, and scorpion - and progresses through its three life stages fueled by the blood of mammals. That includes humans. They're attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide we give off. Though they can't jump or fly, they typically crawl onto us (and other animals) when we brush against them - walking through tall grass, playing in fields. If the ticks are carrying Lyme or other pathogens, they can infect us when they bite.
Babesiosis is a new disease linked to ticks in the northeast. It's a disease caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Many different species (types) of Babesia parasites have been found in animals, only a few of which have been found in people. Babesia microti which usually infects white-footed mice and other small mammals is the main species that has been found in people in the United States. Occasional cases caused by other Babesia species have been detected.
The main way people get infected with Babesiosis is through the bite of an infected tick:
• Babesia microti is spread by Ixodes scapularis ticks, which are commonly called blacklegged ticks or deer ticks.
• The parasite typically is spread by the young nymph stage of the tick. Nymphs are mostly found during warm months (spring and summer) in areas with woods, brush, or grass.
• Infected people might not recall a tick bite because scapularis nymphs are very small (about the size of a poppy seed).
Lyme disease is an infectious disease transmitted by the bite of a tick. The disease is caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium known as a spirochete, which may persist in the human body for several years if not properly treated with antibiotics.