By far the biggest in size of the eastern wood ticks, the American dog tick is a parasite that seeks mammal hosts for blood. Some of his favourite meals are medium to large mammals and humans. To make matters worse, they have very few predators and do not go down easily.
Learning More About American Dog Ticks
American dog ticks are found in all areas of the United States except Alaska. These bloodsucking ectoparasites range from adult males measuring 8-12 millimetres to adult females measuring 15-22 millimetres. The eggs laid by female ticks are soft and will not become rigid, unlike other species who lay hard eggs that are easily smashed. American dog tick females have a strange habit of laying up to 100 eggs at one time instead of only 5 or 6 like most other tick species.
When an American dog tick is engorged with blood, it is considered to be about 3/16 inches long, maybe a little more for adults, but definitely not as long as those Lyme disease-carrying Ixodes Scapularis (sizewise). The nymphs and larvae are much smaller, about the size of a poppy seed.
American Dog Ticks Prefer Wooded Areas
In addition, this species likes thick grass or long grass/weeds which grow on the edges of forests, scrubland, and fields. They can also be found in gardens, around homes, and anywhere else their prey may live or hang out.
American Dog Ticks Disease & Threats
The American dog tick is the main transmitter of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which is caused by Rickettsia rickettsia. Since the 1920s, according to the CDC, Rocky Mountain spotted fever has been a nationally recognized disease. Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include a high Fever, chills, muscular pains, and headaches. In some situations, a rash may appear on the extremities and spread. It usually takes 2-4 days to appear. Antibiotics are used to cure the condition, although it may be deadly if not treated promptly.
Tularemia, a bacterial infection caused by the organism Francisella tularensis, is one of several illnesses American dog ticks are known to transmit. Ticks carry the virus and can spread it to humans. It’s carried by rabbits, mice, squirrels, and other small animals. Fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes are all symptoms. An ulcer may develop at the tick bite location.
American dog ticks can also induce tick paralysis, which might lead to serious respiratory issues and muscular weakness. If you believe you’ve been infected with one of the aforementioned American dog tick diseases, please contact a physician immediately.
Infestation & Prevention
American Dog ticks are extremely aggressive and dangerous. The female will crawl into warm places, such as under a blanket or in a dog’s fur, and attach herself to the host. Each tick can latch onto a host for up to two days before dropping off.
Most bites from American dog ticks occur around the feet and ankles because the insects’ size blends with the colors of long grasses, brush, and shrubbery.
Extreme caution must be used when working near tall grasses or dense vegetation because you could pick up American dog tick larvae on your clothes or body. After working in brushy or wooded areas, take a shower and check your clothes for ticks before entering your home.
How to Protect Yourself From American Dog Ticks?
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from American Dog Ticks. One is to wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when you are outdoors. You can also use an insect repellent that contains DEET. If you find a tick on your skin, remove it with tweezers. If you try to pull it out with your fingers, you might squeeze its body and cause the tick to release more disease-causing organisms in one dose than if you removed it in two. For this reason make sure to use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull directly upwards with steady, even pressure. After removing the tick, place it in a container of alcohol to kill it. Then clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water.
You can also take steps to reduce the number of ticks in your environment. For example, you can remove leaf litter and brush from around your home and keep your lawn mowed. You can also treat your pets with a tick preventive medication.
American Dog Ticks can carry a variety of diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. It is important to protect yourself against these diseases by taking the necessary precautions.
Get in Touch with Our Raleigh Pest Control Experts Today!
Please do not let their size or cuteness fool you. American dog ticks can and will kill you if left untreated. This is why it’s so important to get rid of them ASAP, no matter how many of them there are or what kind of environment they’re in. Here at Stomp Pest Control, we are dedicated to helping homeowners and renters get rid of American dog ticks and all other types of pests. We have a variety of programs to choose from, and we will work with you to find the best one for your needs. Contact us today using the form below or call us at (919) 231-3292.