As anyone who frequents the forest knows, ticks are a kind of parasitic arachnid that use mammals as host bodies. While small in size, these pesky, bloodsucking hitchhikers carry the potential to transmit diseases to you. Although there is no full-proof way to guard against a tick finding its way onto you, your loved ones, or pets this spring, it is wise to take the time and learn about the different ticks you may be exposed to. Here are three of the most common ticks in the United States.
American Dog Tick
Known to science by its Latin name, Dermacentor variabilis, the American dog tick is commonly found in grassy areas that do not have much tree cover. These ticks feed on host bodies of all shapes and sizes, four-legged and two-legged. They are capable of surviving up to 2 years without a host. American dog ticks can carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Tularemia.
Sometimes referred to as the blacklegged tick, with the fancy Latin name of Ixodes scapularis, the deer tick is usually found in deciduous forests. True to their name, the deer tick tends to target deer and are widely distributed by their host body of choice. Natural hitchhikers that multiply quickly, adult and nymph-stage deer ticks can carry Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis.
Lone Star Tick
A bloodsucking menace with a particular white marking on its carapace, this tick is mostly found in dense undergrowth and woodlands. Mushroom beds, deer beds, or other animal resting areas are where these guys like to be. Lone star ticks, known to science as Amblyomma americamm, carry diseases in both stages of their development. The diseases they can carry are Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Monocytic Ehrlichiosis, and Stari borreliosis.