Meet the Trouble Makers: 7 Disease Carrying Ticks!

The American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

This is the most commonly identified species responsible for transmitting Rickettsia rickettsii, which causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in humans. It can also transmitTularemia. It is widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains and on the Pacific Coast. D. variabilis larvae and nymphs feed on small rodents. Dogs and medium-sized mammals are the preferred hosts of adult D. variabilis, although it feeds readily on other large mammals, including humans.

The Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes scapularis)

Commonly known as a “deer tick”or “lyme tick”, it can transmit the organisms responsible foranaplasmosisbabesiosis, and Lyme disease. It is widely distributed in the northeastern and upper midwestern United States. I. scapularis larvae and nymphs feed on small mammals and birds, while adults feed on larger mammals and humans.

The Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)  

The Brown Dog Tick has recently been identified as a reservoir of R. rickettsii, causing Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the southwestern U.S. and along the U.S-Mexico border. They are found throughout the U.S. and the world. Dogs are the primary host for each of its life stages, although it may also bite humans or other mammals.

The Gulf Coast Tick (Amblyomma maculatum)

The Gulf Coast Tick resides in the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico. It can transmit Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, a form of spotted fever. A. maculatum larvae and nymphs feed on birds and small rodents, while adult ticks feed on deer and other wildlife. Adults have been associated with transmission of R. parkeri to humans.

The Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum)

The Lone Star Tick transmits Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii, causing humanehrlichiosistularemia, and STARI. Itis primarily found in the southeastern and eastern U.S. White-tailed deer are a major host and appear to represent one natural reservoir for E. chaffeensisA. americanum larvae and nymphs feed on birds and deer. Both nymphal and adults are associated with the transmission of pathogens to humans.

The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni)

The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia to humans. It is found in the Rocky Mountain states. Adults feed primarily on large mammals. Larvae and nymphs feed on small rodents. Adults are primarily associated with pathogen transmission to humans.

The Western Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes pacificus)

The Western Blacklegged Tick can transmit the organisms responsible for causinganaplasmosis and Lyme disease in humans. Wild rodents and other mammals are likely reservoirs of these pathogens. It is found along the Pacific coast of the United States. Larvae and nymphs feed on birds and small rodents, while adults feed on deer and other mammals. Both adults and nymps are known to transmit disease to humans.