American Dog Ticks
Learn More About American Dog Ticks
The American dog tick is the largest of the eastern wood ticks. Ticks are parasites, and they must find a mammal host for blood. American Dog Ticks will feed on humans and medium to large mammals such as raccoons and dogs. American Dog Ticks are not easily injured and have few predators. They can transmit diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Protect yourself and your family by contacting us for tick control services.
Reddish-brown with white or yellow markings.
1/8 in. - 1/2 in.
The American Dog Tick is the largest of the eastern wood ticks, and have eight legs.
Like all ticks, the American dog tick is a bloodsucking ectoparacite. It is often referred to as a wood tick because it is found in wooded areas where mammalian hosts live. Ticks require a blood meal at each stage of life in order to grow, and the female must engorge herself with blood to obtain the nourishment necessary to produce the thousands of eggs she lays. Despite the large number of eggs produced, only a small percentage will make it to maturity.
Habitat & Behavior
The American dog tick does not survive well indoors. If found indoors, it was probably carried in on a dog and dropped off when fully engorged to seek a suitable place for egg laying. Both larvae and nymphs actively crawl about seeking a small mammalian host, primarily rodents. Nymphs alone are known from wood rat, sheep, cattle, and dog. Because of this kind of host seeking activity, neither larvae nor nymphs are picked up on tick drags. Adults crawl up grass or other low vegetation, cling to it with their 3rd pair of legs. They prefer larger mammals as hosts and these include the preferred dog and others such as man, cattle, opossum, coyote, hog, horse, raccoon, wild cat, squirrel, sheep, skunk, deer, fox, domestic cat, mule, rabbit, Norway rat, ground squirrel, donkey/burro, weasel, and woodchuck. American dog ticks are attracted by the scent of animals and are therefore most numerous along roads, paths, and trails. The concentration is further increased along such travel routes by the dropping of engorged ticks from their host animal.
Spring / Summer / Fall
Prevention & Treatment
Ticks are difficult to control, therefore the services of an experienced professional are recommended. Treatments may be necessary in areas of the yard where ticks are found. The best way to avoid tick bites is to stay away from tick-infested areas.