Winter tick larvae - what to look for (September-October)

Newly hatched winter tick larvae are currently active now in Yukon, where they will be looking for a host animal. They are usually found in areas of high animal activity - moose, elk, caribou or deer. If you're out hunting or hiking, you might spot winter tick larvae on vegetation, between 0.5 -1.5m from the ground.

What to look for:
Clusters of tiny red-brown ticks on the top & underside of leaves and woody plant stems. They may be formed into a clump or 'tick ball' or spread over the ends of leaves. Each tick is approximately 1-2mm across (size of a poppy seed!) and has 6 legs - the front pair are long and curved to help them grip onto a passing animal. There may be as many as 150-200 individual ticks in each clump.

Winter ticks, questing

Tick-ball or larval tick aggregation

What to do if you find tick larvae:
Take a photo and note the exact location (GPS coordinates would be great!). Make a note of what the weather's like, the time of day, estimated number of ticks, and if you can, also the type of vegetation they were seen on.

Upload images to here on the Yukon Winter Tick Monitoring Project page on iNaturalist.

Posted on September 23, 2018 07:50 PM by emilychenery emilychenery


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