University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Ticks

How many types of ticks are there in Wisconsin?  There are at least 16 reported species of ticks in Wisconsin, only a few of which feed on humans. 

The most commonly encountered ticks in Wisconsin are the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis; called the blacklegged tick by specialists) and the wood tick (Dermacentor variabilis; called the American dog tick by specialists).  This section provides information on the deer and wood ticks, as well as some of the other species of ticks we’ve encountered through work with veterinary clinics, animal rehabilitators, and research that involves trapping of small mammals like mice, chipmunks, and squirrels. 

Click on a species in the dropdown menu under Wisconsin ticks for more information.

Why are ticks important in Wisconsin?  Aside from the annoyance of a tick bite, ticks are “vectors” of microorganisms that cause diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, Powassan or deer tick virus, and babesiosis.  

Medical professionals such as physicians and veterinarians as well as laboratories that diagnose these conditions are required to report them to local health departments, and animal health regulatory officials, who in turn, report these conditions to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI-DHS), the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection (DATCP) or the United States Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services depending on the type of tick-borne disease.