Java Joe wrote on the FLTC e-list:
This morning I found a small nymph deer tick on me after yesterday’s FLTC Wally Wood hike in SW Cortland County (map M19). It evidently had not yet attached as it was picked off easily, but left a tiny red mark.
These critters are recently exploding in numbers along the Finger Lakes Trail. I started my first of 10 end-to-end hikes 35 years ago and I’d never seen any deer ticks until last year, when I did my 10-th E2E and observed 4 deer ticks along the way — 1 walking on me and 3 walking on my Goldens — none attached.
And within the last 3 weeks I’ve encountered 3 more! None attached, thank goodness (they need to be attached ~48 hours before they infect you with the Lyme spirochete bacterium).
Important info about the three stages of these critters:
-Larval (first) stage: hatched from eggs from the adult female tick; these never carry any diseases. Larval ticks after hatching die within a month or so, if not finding a host.
-Nymph (intermediate) stage: these, if have feasted on a warm blooded host (usually white footed mice in the north) are the most common causative agent of Lyme disease (95%).
-Adult, the largest. Usually found because of their size, before they attach.
We are now in May beginning the dreaded “nymph” season, so beware. For more info go to the American Lyme Disease Foundation website: http://aldf.com/deerTickEcology.shtml