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Coyote Tick Update

e-coyote-tick-by-mholland-049a2231For those of you who might be interested, I heard back from the TickEncounter Resource Center ( after submitting my photograph for identification.

Their response: You’ve encountered an adult female blacklegged (deer) tick. These ticks typically become very abundant after the first frost and remain active all winter whenever temperatures are above freezing. You might be interested in checking our hyperlink to see how much ticks can change their appearance the longer they’re attached and feeding.  It appears your tick was attached and feeding for about 5-6 days and then it detached from whatever it was feeding on–we’re wondering how you knew it was from a coyote and not a deer; maybe the footprints in the snow?? Autumn IS peak adult deer tick season but the activity of these ticks typically slows as it gets colder. They don’t die though.

This site is a great resource on ticks, tick-borne diseases and tick prevention provided by the University of Rhode Island.(I sent them the photo of the coyote bed so they would know how I knew it had fallen off a coyote, not a deer.)

13 responses

  1. WOW!! It looks like it just visited the blood bank.

    December 15, 2016 at 8:40 am

  2. Thanks for the update on the tick!

    December 15, 2016 at 8:46 am

  3. Kathie Fiveash

    I think you can see the original size of the female deer tick’s abdomen before she attached and started feeding. It’s that dark little oval right above the head. I think! Amazing how they distend. Yuck. I love the way the dark body of the tick caused a little melt crater.

    December 15, 2016 at 8:53 am

  4. Ellen Halperin

    Thanks for linking to this valuable site. One caveat: They state ticks are active through August. I was treating my dog (and spraying my shoes) into November!

    December 15, 2016 at 8:56 am

  5. David Porter

    alder “cones”

    December 15, 2016 at 8:57 am

  6. Thank you for your follow-up on this critical topic.

    December 15, 2016 at 9:27 am

  7. Oh, ugh. And yet… this is so interesting!
    Now when they say that ticks do not die in cold weather, do you think that is true even if they are not attached to (or at least riding on) a warm mammal?

    December 15, 2016 at 10:58 am

    • Yes. From

      “If you think that recent nighttime temperatures dropping into the 20’s is going to kill off the adult deer ticks crawling just about everywhere these days… well, think again! The killing frost may finish off your garden and the pesky mosquitoes that have remained around, but not the deer ticks. These ticks just don’t die from the cold.

      Instead, they typically retreat daily into the leaf litter to stay hydrated. Then, they’ll climb back onto knee-high vegetation any time temperatures are above freezing, hoping to latch on to a passing deer, dog, cat, or human. To some, these ticks seem tough; they’ll be out there until the ground freezes. And they’ll be back as soon as it thaws. You need to know this so you’re not caught un-prepared.

      You may be wondering what does kill these persistent creatures. Adult deer ticks die when they finally run out of energy reserves acquired back when they were nymphs. This typically happens in the following May. But May is when the poppy seed-sized nymphs become active, so there really are very few “tick free” breaks during the year.”

      December 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm

  8. Diane

    Thank you for posting the information and the site. Am going to bookmark. Had Lyme once and never ever want to get it again. Do I need permission to copy & paste your post on FB?

    December 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm

  9. Libby Hillhouse

    From the other postings, I gather there are no concerns about ticks debilitating mammels other than deer and moose? That would be happy news….

    December 15, 2016 at 12:37 pm

  10. Diane

    Yes I see I do need permission.

    December 15, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    • April

      Diane: You can “like” Mary’s “Naturally Curious” facebook page and share it that way. I’m about to myself!

      December 15, 2016 at 7:17 pm

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