The American dog tick gets it common name from the fact that domestic dogs are the favorite host of the adults. Although not a structural pests, it is commonly found on dogs and readily attacks humans. It 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.
American dog ticks are the primary vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the eastern United States, which they transmit from small animals.
These ticks also transmit tularemia which is caused by a bacillus and is transmitted from rabbits, meadow mice, ground squirrels, sheep, beavers, coyotes, and various game birds.
Deticking dogs is an important way that Rocky Mountain spotted fever is spread.
Prevention: If a tick is found attached, remove it with a slow steady pull that will not break off the mouthparts and leave them in the skin. It is best to use forceps whose tips are placed on or just behind the mouthparts. If fingers are used, place the fingernails of thumb and index finger on or just behind the mouthparts but be sure to wash thoroughly with soap and water afterwards. A drop of fingernail polish, Vaseline, or rubbing alcohol to cover the tick’s body may help but be sure to clean the attachment area. Liberal use of tick repellents is helpful, including application to clothing. In heavily infested areas the application of an appropriately labelled pesticide may be advisable. Call us for a free inspection.