Deer ticks crawling on you can be hard to find, especially if they are immature ticks. Now an adult female deer tick has been found feeding on a person in New York State that is only 1.5 millimeters (.06 inches) long. This is about half the size of the usual deer tick.
This is especially a concern because deer ticks are frequent Lyme disease carriers. Tiny ticks are probably just as likely to carry and transmit Lyme disease but are more likely to go unnoticed on a person’s body. The scientists are calling this an example of dwarfism, but as of yet no one knows how common these tiny ticks are.
This year ticks are of even more concern than normal because many areas of the country are reporting increased numbers of tick bites. In addition, the percentage of ticks that carry the pathogen that causes Lyme disease is higher than normal this year, according to the tick testing laboratory in Connecticut.