Pest Facts: Blacklegged (Deer) Ticks



The blacklegged tick is named for its dark legs, which are a contrast to its pale body. Blacklegged ticks are sometimes called deer ticks.

Pest Facts

Color: Dark brown to black body

Legs: Eight

Shape: Flat; broad oval

Size: 1/8 inches

Antennae: No

Flying: No

Region: All 50


These ticks like to feed on the blood of white-tailed deer, which is why they are sometimes called deer ticks.


Blacklegged ticks prefer to hide in grass and shrubs.


Blacklegged (deer) ticks can spread Lyme Disease.


When in an area where ticks are common, wear long sleeved shirts and pants, preferably light colored so ticks will be easy to detect. Tuck pants into socks. Use a tick repellent. When you return indoors, inspect clothing and skin thoroughly for ticks, including head. Wash clothes immediately.

*Resource credit: Courtesy of the National Pest Management Association*