Blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) surveillance
Estimated distribution of areas where the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) could survive and reproduce (yellow), and counties where established populations have been documented (red). Counties classified as “established” are those where six or more I. scapularis of a single life stage or more than one life stage of the tick were collected in the county within any 12-month period. Counties not classified as established should not be interpreted as the tick being absent.
The lifecycle of blacklegged (Ixodes scapularis) ticks generally lasts at least two years. During this time, they go through four life stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. After the eggs hatch, the ticks must have a blood meal at every stage to survive. Blacklegged ticks can feed from mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The ticks need a new host at each stage of their life.