Lone Star Tick


  • Amblyomma americanum
  • Lone Star Tick
  • Northeastern water tick
  • Turkey tick
  • Cricker Tick


Females have a silvery-white, star-shaped spot or “lone star” present near the center of the posterior portion of the adult female shield (scutum).

Males have varied white streaks or spots around the margins of their shields.


Approximate Distribution of the Lone Star Tick
Source: CDC

Populations of adult lone star ticks peak in May and July.

  • Nymphs are common from May to August
  • Larvae are typically active from July to September.


Lone star ticks can carry and transmit several pathogens that make people and animals sick. Click on the links below to learn more about the diseases that can be spread through a bite from the lone star tick:

Ehrlichiosis: An illness caused by bacteria, spread by ticks. The illness causes fever, muscle aches, and other symptoms.

Tularemia: A disease that can infect animals and people. Rabbits, hares, and rodents are especially susceptible and often die in large numbers during outbreaks. The signs and symptoms of tularemia in humans vary depending on how the bacteria enter the body. Illness ranges from mild to life-threatening. All forms are accompanied by fever, which can be as high as 104 °F.

Meat allergy/ Alpha-Gal: Alpha-gal syndrome is a food allergy to red meat and other products made from mammals.

Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI):

Name: “Lyme Like Disease”; Debatably caused by Borrelia lonestari
Transmission: Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star Tick)
Signs and Symptoms: Rash, Fever, Fatigue, Headache, Muscle Joint pain
Treatment: Oral Antibiotics usually Doxycycline
Distribution: Expanding distributions from Midwest and Southern US to Northern states.

Heartland Virus:

Name: Bandavirus
Transmission: Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star Tick)
Signs and Symptoms: Fever, Fatigue, loss of appetite, Headache, Nausea, Diarrhea, muscle joint pain, low white blood cell counts
Treatment: No specific treatment against this virus.
Distribution: Midwest and Southern US, where deer is a predominant reservoir host. There are no commercially available kits for diagnosis and up to 50 confirmed cases.


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