Lone Star Tick

Lone star tick females have a single yellow dot on their back
Female lone star tick

Description of lone star ticks

The lone star tick, named for the prominent white dot on the back of the adult female, is very abundant in south central and south east U.S. Over the past several years, this tick has started to become fairly abundant in Iowa, especially in the southern half. Although lone star ticks are most active in May and June it is possible to find the adults active on warm days throughout the winter and early spring.

Life cycle of lone star ticks

Each lone star tick must have 3 blood meals to develop to the adult stage. This species has a wide host range. Adult ticks are commonly found on large mammals such as cattle, deer, horses and dogs. The immature ticks may feed on the same hosts, though they prefer to feed on birds and small mammals.

Damage caused by lone star ticks

All stages of lone star tick will feed on people. Lone star ticks do not transmit Lyme disease.  Lone star ticks do vector some other diseases, to be safe, any unusual symptoms that occur following the bite of any tick should be reported to the family physician as a precaution.

Additional Resources

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Yard and Garden, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on September 13, 2016. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.