Tick Ecology

Any entomologists/parasitologists here?

I’ve lived in Western PA for the past 50 years. Prior to that, I did not exist. For the first 42 or so years, ticks were unheard of in my area. A drive east to Philly and there were ticks, but none here in the Pittsburgh area.

Then, about 8 years ago I found a tick on my dog. The vet mentioned that he had just started to see them on peoples’ pets. Each year since then, they have become more common.

I (not an ecologist) have just assumed their range has gradually shifted, but I am wondering if their is a more astute explanation here. They are starting to tick me off.:rolleyes:

I don’t know for sure, but if I had to guess, it would be that deer populations have increased where you live, as development creates the kind of forest/lawn borders that deer like, populations of predators have decreased and human hunting has decreased.

The common deer tick, as you would guess from its name, lives mostly on deer. Humans and dogs are only a side business for it.

Depending on the species of ticks that you and your vet are seeing, any number of host species could be contributing to their arrival in your area, including birds.