Ticks are small annoying bugs that suck the blood of humans and other animals to survive. With over 900 species of ticks, they are found in abundance across the globe. There are many different varieties of ticks that live in various regions and environments. These blood-feeding parasites also carry and transmit some deadly diseases to both people and animals. However, this depends on the type of ticks and their location.
This blog explores the top 5 tick species in the United States and the diseases they carry so that you can stay away from them and reduce exposure as your best defense against tick-borne infections.
So, without any further delay, let’s jump in.
1. Blacklegged Tick
The black-legged (deer) tick is infamous for its ability to bite and spread diseases. It is called Blacklegged for its dark legs. Blacklegged ticks are also known as deer ticks owing to their adult host, the white-tailed deer. Deer ticks are found crawling around in the mid-Atlantic, eastern, south-eastern, north-eastern, and northcentral United States. These are some of the most dreaded ticks as they can transmit some deadly bacteria that can cause diseases like Lyme, Borrelia burgdorferi, and B. mayonii. According to the CDC, over 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported annually. This tick has a red-orange body and easily be spotted by its dark black legs.
2. Lone Star Tick
The lone star tick is named after the lone silvery-white spot on the female’s tick’s back. These ticks are notorious for attacking humans more frequently than the rest of the tick species. The bite of a lone star tick often results in a circular rash. They are also the reason behind alpha-gal allergy, an allergic reaction to red meat. Lone star ticks spread many dangerous diseases Heartland virus, Bourbon virus, and Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). They are found in abundance in the eastern and south-eastern states in the U.S.
3. American Dog Tick
Also known as a wood tick, these species are only found in North America and love to feed on domestic dogs and, and are therefore called American Dog Ticks. The American dog tick belongs to the hard tick family and has a hard exterior shield and a dark brown body. These ticks are known to carry and spread lethal diseases in humans, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. American dog tick bites can cause fever, itching, and tick paralysis in some cases.
4. Brown Dog Tick
The Brown Dog tick is commonly found on domestic dogs and has a reddish-brown color body and hence is named so. This tick is prevalent all over the United States and across the globe. Although dogs are the preferred host for these ticks, they will not hesitate to go after other domestic animals and humans if conditions are right. The brown dog ticks serve as vectors of diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and Boutonneuse fever. They can also transmit diseases to dogs, like canine ehrlichiosis and canine Babesia.
5. Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
The Rocky Mountain wood tick gets its name from its primary habitat. They are found in the wooded areas of Rocky Mountain states such as Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana, amongst others. These brown color ticks prefer to live in high altitudes and prefer wooded areas such as forests, lawns, and meadows. Like many other ticks, rocky mountain wood ticks can also transmit fatal diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, tularemia, and tick paralysis.
Ticks are not just an annoyance but a carrier of many lethal diseases. One bite is enough to send you to the hospital. If you suspect the presence of ticks in and around your property, seek the help of professional pest control services for effective tick removal solutions.
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