American Dog Tick

Appearance

Reddish brown, oval-shaped, flattened body with whitish-grey markings. Size varies from 3/16" to 5/8" depending on lifecycle stage and if they've just fed. Larvae have 6 legs and adults have 8 legs.

Diet

The American Dog Tick prefers to feed on dogs, which is how they got their common name.

Habitat

These ticks are mostly found along roads, trails, and in non-wooded, grassy areas, where animals are likely to pass by. They can detect the scent of animals, which is how they find meals. They don't survive indoors very well, but are a risk to residential areas because of their preference to feed on domestic dogs.

Threats

Like other ticks, the American Dog Tick is a known vector for bacterial diseases, transmitted when they bite.

Tick Control and Prevention

Keep your pets protected from ticks in the yard by administering preventative medication approved by your veterinarian. Check them regularly before they enter your home for any signs of ticks embedded in their skin or fur. In case you find a tick on your pet, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as closely as possible to the skin and lift directly up.

Wear long pants and sleeves if you'll be in grassy areas prone to these pests and use a bug repellent containing DEET to keep yourself protected when outdoors.

Here's some more info on how to remove a tick, provided by the CDC.

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