Adults are active April- late August and can be found questing for larger animals, such as dogs, coyotes, deer, cattle and humans on tall grass in shade or at the tips of low lying branches and twigs. Females are easily recognized by a single white dot in the center of a brown body, with the males having spots or streaks of white around the outer edge of the body. Females require a week to 10 days or more to engorge and can lay 2,500-3,000 eggs.
Nymphs are active May- early August, and can be found questing for deer, coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, turkeys and some birds as well as cats, dogs and humans. Where abundant, nymphs seemingly swarm up pant legs and can become attached in less than 10 minutes. Nymphs typically take 5-6 days to become replete, and once fully engorged, they fall off of the host into the leaf litter, where they molt into adults.
Larvae are active July- late September and can be found questing for a wide variety of animals, including cats, dogs, deer, coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, turkeys, and some small birds. After feeding for around 4 days, they drop off of the host and bury themselves in the leaf litter, where they molt into nymphs.
It may be new to you, but the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum) was actually the first North American tick species to be formally described, with reports dating back to the late 1700s. The Southeastern, South-central, and mid-Atlantic states are ground zero for this tick, but a 2014 study revealed that Lone Star ticks can now be found as far west as Colorado and Wyoming and as far north as Maine. Learn more about this "new" tick:
Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) are the main human-biting ticks in southeastern and southcentral regions of the U.S., accounting for over 90% of reported tick bites in the south. While Lone Star ticks have long been considered incompetent to transmit Lyme-group Borrelia, that belief has been increasingly called into question following publication of reported detection of B. burgdorferi DNA in 2 A. americanum ticks removed from humans, and in humans bitten by A. americanum (Clark et al. 2013, Int J Med Sci).
A new paper out in the Journal of Medical Entomology presents a 30-year review of research that concludes that lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) do not transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi.
"University of Rhode Island researcher Dr. Thomas Mather said, since the 1980s, Rhode Island reports of the Lone Star tick have mostly been confined to Prudence Island".