Dog Ticks in Massachusetts: How Big of a Threat?

Now that we’re well into summertime in New England, many of us have been informed about tick safety precautions. Black-legged ticks, also called deer ticks, are one of the most well-known ticks across Massachusetts. They are carriers of Lyme Disease, and can pose a threat to humans and pets. But while you’re having fun in the sun this summer, don’t forget about the other type of tick, dog ticks.

Dog Ticks in Massachusetts

What Are Dog Ticks?

Also known as the wood tick, the American dog tick gets its name from the fact that adult ticks prefer to feed on domestic dogs, coupled with the species being found only in North America. They are approximately the size of a watermelon seed, and brown with whitish markings. 

Do Dog Ticks in Massachusetts Pose a Threat?

Dog ticks are responsible for spreading Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and certain types of tularemia. In general, only the adult dog tick will bite humans. The highest risk of being bitten by a dog tick occurs during the spring and summer seasons.

Dog Tick Bites

American dog tick bites can cause itching, fever and, in some cases, tick paralysis. Be on the lookout for the development of rashes near the tick bite, as this is the primary symptom of tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. 

What to Do if Bitten

It’s important to catch a bite as soon as possible, as dog ticks usually take a few hours to imbed into the skin before they begin feeding. Follow our removal guide for instructions on how to properly remove a tick. As always, seek medical attention for yourself or your pets if you suspect an infection.

If you’re looking to prevent ticks on your property this year, ask us about our residential tick treatments for deer and dog ticks in Massachusetts!

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