American Dog Tick
American Dog Tick Facts
Commonly describes as: wood tick
The American dog tick is also known as the wood tick and is most often found east of the Rocky Mountains. Like the name implies, the American dog tick prefers dogs as its primary host. If you find one of these ticks on you or your furry friend, be sure to get rid of it as soon as possible, as this pest can transmit a variety of diseases.
American Dog Tick Bites
In their adult stage, these ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) to humans, as well as tularemia, the agent that can cause paralysis in dogs.
RMSF is identified by rashes that that develop over the course of a week. You may experience fever, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, muscle pain, as well as loss of appetite. If left untreated, the disease may be fatal. To be infected in the first place, the tick will need to be attached to your body for 6 to 8 hours, although transmission of RMSF can take up to a full day.
The organism that causes tularemia may affect both you and your dog. It can take up to 21 days for symptoms to appear in humans. These include: chills, fever, sensitivity to touch, and swollen lymph nodes. This may also be fatal if left untreated. In dogs, the tick will attach to their necks and feed for up to a week, releasing the organism into the body. Your dog may become unstable and unresponsive. It may even stop breathing. This happens not only to dogs, but children as well, so it is important to seek medical care right away.
American Dog Tick Infestation
American dog ticks are sometimes referred to as “three-host ticks” because they will take residence on up to three animals over the course of their lives. Eggs are laid on the ground or in plant material and wait to latch onto a host that passes by. They feed on the animal’s blood for four days, and the drop off. This process begins in the spring and can last until early fall.
The tick will do this two more times, attacking larger mammals in each stage and feed on more blood. On the last host, male and female ticks will mate, and the process will start all over.
American Dog Tick Identification
These ticks are quite large, measuring up to ½ and inch long after blood feeding. It’s body is reddish-brown with either white or yellow markings. Ticks are closely related to spiders, and also have eight legs.
American Dog Ticks In Your Yard & The House
The american dog tick finds its host by lurking along the edges of trails and roads. The ticks can identify the scent of a good host and will move onto the animal or person when they brush against the grass or branch where the tick is waiting. You or your dog can get these ticks while simply out on a walk. American dog ticks can also be carried into your yard by infested strays or wildlife, or if you live near heavily wooded areas or fields of tall grasses.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Ticks
How do you remove ticks?
It is always a good idea to know how to properly remove a tick. Incorrect removal techniques such as using nail polish, Vaseline or fire will increase the chance of the tick transmitting disease. If you find a tick on yourself or a family member, start by using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the surface of the skin as you can. Pull in an upward motion while applying steady pressure. If you try to wrangle the tick out erratically, parts of its mouth may remain in your skin, which will also need to be removed with tweezers. If you can’t remove the remaining parts, let the affected area heal. After the tick is removed, wash both the bite and your hands soap and water or use rubbing alcohol to sanitize these areas.
How do you prevent American dog tick bites?
You can prevent american dog tick bites by avoiding areas with thick vegetation as these are often the common hiding spots for ticks. If you decide to go for a walk or hike, wear long sleeves, pants and tall socks to protect your skin. Ticks are attracted to light colored clothing, so try to choose dark colors. When you return home, check your entire body from head to toe for ticks. These pests like warm crevices so don’t forget to look between your toes, in your belly button and throughout your hair and scalp.
Benefits of Professional American Dog Tick Pest Removal
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address an American dog tick problem. Finding and treating the American dog ticks can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the American dog ticks infestation.