|Tick removal- lawestvector.org|
You know you have been in the outdoors too long when you start to identify the species of every tick you find crawling on you. We have reached that point. Female lonestar ticks predominated through the spring but we are now starting to see a significant percentage of female dog ticks.
If you are interested in developing this thrilling new tick identification hobby, or are just curious about what is crawling on you today, I would recommend printing off this Tick Identification Chart PDF from the Virginia Department of Health. It has good pictures of all three stages of the Blacklegged, Lone Star and American Dog ticks. It also has concise information on the disease transmission vectors and times.
We haven't yet started to keep a spreadsheet with the tick ID, time and date like dedicated bird watchers. That would really be sick, but it may be the next big thing.