18 May 2009

Blood-sucking Arachnids

Lindsay, Bootypants, and I are keeping count of the number of ticks that we find on ourselves this year. I know... a little disgusting. But I was really curious who contracts more in a season... Bootypants or me. As of this evening, the count is as follows:

Bootypants: 35
(Photo by Mike and Heidi Walczak)

Scott: 28

Lindsay: 6

Most of the ticks that we find are American Dog Ticks, Dermacentor variabilis.
Female American Dog Tick

Male American Dog Tick

While in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, I found a lot of Lone Star Ticks, Amblyomma americanum.
Male Lone Star Tick

Female Lone Star Tick

While in the Indiana Dunes this past weekend, I found a Brown Dog Tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, a tick species that I'd never noticed before.
Female Brown Dog Tick

I've found Deer Ticks, Ixodes scapularis, on Bootypants in the fall in previous years, but we haven't seen any yet this year.
Neither Lindsay nor I have found any engorged ticks on us, but Bootypants has had a few. As the season progresses, I'll provide updates on the tick ticker.

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