Scientific Name: Dermacentor variabilis (Say).
Color: Brown with whitish to grayish markings
Shape: Oval, flattened top to bottom
Size: 3/16-5/8 long, 3/8 wide
This tick's name comes from the fact that it is only found in North
America and that domestic dogs are their favorite host. It readily
Adult ticks crawl up on grass or other low vegetation and wait for
a host to pass. Waiving their legs, they cling to a host on contact
and feed. Unfed adults can survive for about 2-3 years. One female
may lay 4000-6500 eggs in a month. Larvae can survive up to 540
Found only in North America and throughout the United States, except
for the Rocky Mountains.
It vectors the causal organisms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever
and tularemia and also causes tick paralysis.
Control includes personal protection, keeping trouser legs tucked
into socks or boots, shirts tucked in and clothes buttoned. Avoid
sitting on logs, stumps or the ground. Periodically inspect clothing
and body for ticks. Keep grass and weeds cut low. Trim back vegetation
along trails, paths and yard edges. Reduce or eliminate hosts such
as rodents in the area. Appropriately labeled pesticides may be
advisable, especially along areas frequented by pets and humans.
(Source: National Pest Management Association, et. al.)