Government of New Brunswick

Public Health collaborates with the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, the Public Health Agency of Canada and other experts to monitor the occurrence of blacklegged ticks.  Provincial tick surveillance data provides information on tick species, disease causing pathogens, and helps to identify where blacklegged tick populations are established or could become established.

Blacklegged ticks exist in four life stages: egg, immature tick (larva and nymph) and adult.  Eggs hatch into larva and a blood meal is required by the tick to move to the next stage.  Unfed larvae are very small (0.15 mm long) and are light in colour.  Unfed nymphs are very small (0.15 mm long) and are light in colour.Unfed adults are approximately 3-5 mm in length and are a bright red and dark brown color.  Adult females become paler in color as they start to feed and can become 10 mm long after feeding.  

Adult American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) are larger than Ixodes ticks and are distinguished by characteristic white markings.  Immature ticks feed on small rodents, but adults are often found on people, dogs, and other domestic animals.  This species is not a vector for Lyme disease. 

The moose or winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) is found on moose and deer and occasionally on horses, cows, dogs and humans.  Large numbers of the tiny larvae may be encountered in the fall, particularly in habitat where moose are found.  This species is not a vector for Lyme disease.

Eleven species of ticks have been found in New Brunswick between 2013 and 2017 where a history of travel outside of the province was not indicated.  This includes Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor albipictus, Dermacentor variabilis, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes angustus, Ixodes cookie, Ixodes marxi, Ixodes muris, Ixodes scapularis, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus.  Three additional species have been submitted however, there was a history of travel outside of the province and include Amblyomma multipunctum, Dermacentor andersoni, and Haemaphysalis aciculifer ticks.
 


Over 5,000 ticks were submitted as part of provincial tick surveillance between 2013 and 2017 On average, 81% of the submissions were blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis); 10% were groundhog ticks (Ixodes cookie) and 2% were other Ixodes tick species, 4% were American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) 1% were moose or winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus); and 2% were other tick species.

tick-pie

Over 3,500 blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) were tested between 2013 and 2017 where a history of travel outside of the province was not indicated.  On average, 13.0% of the blacklegged tick submissions are positive for Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and  1.7% are positive for anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum); and on average, 0.4% of the blacklegged tick submissions are positive for Lyme disease and anaplasmosis.  On average, 0.1% of the blacklegged tick submissions are positive for babesiosis (Babesia).