What are American dog ticks?
As you can probably guess, the American dog tick received it named because of its preference for feeding on the blood of domesticated dogs, although they will also happily feed on a wide variety of other mammals. Adult American dog ticks are brownish in color with white or yellow markings on them.
Females have “marbled” markings only on the upper surface of front part of their bodies, while males have the same “marbled” markings going across the entire upper surface of their body. Before feeding adult American dog ticks are about 3/16th of an inch in length and have an oval shaped body. After having a blood meal they grow to about 5/8th of an inch in length and become very swollen. Like other species of ticks they are wingless and cannot fly or jump.
Why do I have them?
American dog ticks are usually introduced onto properties by wild animals, they drop off of their host once full, and into your grass. They will then wait until they are ready for another meal and attach themselves to a new host, which unfortunately could by you, your kids, or your pets.
Along with being found in yards they are also commonly be found in the grasses and vegetation found in parks, fields, along wooded paths, in vacant lots, and alongside of roads. American dog ticks do not survive well indoors.