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What Kind of Tick Is It?

Ticks are dangerous freeloaders

While ticks can be found anywhere in the U.S., different species of ticks inhabit different geographical areas. Ticks are most prevalent in the spring, especially after a wet and mild winter. Deer ticks are so hardy, they’ve been found active in the winter when temperatures rise above freezing.

All ticks feed on blood and can spread disease. The important thing to know is that ticks live all over the country, so wherever you are, ticks are there, too.

Four major species of ticks

American dog tick or wood tick: This tick is brown to reddish-brown and is relatively easy to see from late March through early September, depending upon temperature. It’s responsible for transmitting Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and canine tick paralysis.

Deer tick or blacklegged tick: The deer tick is very small, resembling dark brown to black pepper grains, and is primarily responsible for spreading Lyme disease. This tick is most active during summer, but adults can be active during the winter when temperatures rise above freezing.

Brown dog tick: This tick is found throughout the U.S. It’s unusual in that it can lay its eggs indoors. It’s responsible for causing Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Lone star tick: The female lone star tick is characterized by a white spot. These ticks can carry ehrlichiosis and tularemia.