Deer ticks are members of the arachnid family known for their ability to transmit Lyme's disease. They normally feed on birds and mice, and their range includes the central and eastern United States. They are much smaller than common dog ticks.
Deer ticks go through four life phases: egg, larva, nymph and adult. They live for about two years and only feed on blood three times over the course of their lives. It is during these feedings that deer ticks may contract Lyme's disease bacteria. They transmit the bacteria during their second or third blood meals, but they must remain attached for 24 hours for the bacteria to infect the host.