Do dog ticks prefer dogs?

Photo of a small brown dog

There are two types of dog ticks and they both prefer dogs over other mammals.

Let’s first talk about the American dog tick, also called the wood tick. This type of dog tick typically resides along forest edges, outside of tree density. They can live in grassy passes and walkways, making them ideal dog predators. But don’t get us wrong – the American dog tick does prefer the blood of your dog over yours, but it will latch onto rodents, livestock, or you!

What about the brown dog tick?

The brown dog tick can actually infest a home with pets. Read that again! You can have brown dog ticks living their best lives inside your home – as long as they are getting their required blood meals. Outdoor dog kennels are at high risk of brown dog tick infestations, which can spell trouble for resident dogs and humans.

Especially at this time of year with families traveling various distances to celebrate the holiday season with loved ones, many pets will stay behind in a pet boarding facility or a dog kennel.

All pets who will spend time in boarding situations will typically be vetted beforehand. Some usual requirements are that they are potty-trained, spayed or neutered, have a good temperament around other pets and humans, have up-to-date vaccinations, as well as heartworm, flea, and tick preventatives, and come with collars and tags or microchips.

But there is no guarantee that the facility will be totally free of brown dog ticks.

What do I need to know about the brown dog tick?

Brown Dog Ticks are a species of hard tick found all over the United States but especially here in the Southern states. Unlike many other species which live mostly in wooded or grassy areas, the Brown Dog Tick is known to infest human dwellings, especially where dogs live – both indoors and in or around kennels. Brown Dog Ticks can infest both homes and structures, as well as dogs themselves.

Although the Brown Dog Tick gets its name from the fact that it prefers to feed on dogs, they can and will feed on humans. This is dangerous since like other tick species in the U.S., Brown Dog Ticks carry diseases that are harmful to both dogs and humans.

What diseases can be spread by the brown dog tick?

Brown Dog Ticks can spread disease to both dogs and humans at multiple stages of the life cycle, particularly Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This disease is dangerous to both humans and dogs; and it can even be fatal. At both the nymphal and adult stages, the Brown Dog Tick can also spread canine Ehrlichiosis and canine Babesiosis to dogs, so avoiding them is necessary for the continued wellbeing of you and your dogs. Protect your home, especially if you have pets, from dog ticks.

Protect your home, especially if you have pets, from dog ticks.

Nashville is home to as many as 15 different tick breeds, but the most common are the brown dog tick, deer tick, and Lonestar tick. Ticks are most often found in heavily wooded areas and tall grasses, and most often crawl up from the ground rather than drop from branches, which is why ground level awareness and control is important.

The forecast of a relatively mild winter in Nashville will bring ticks out earlier than usual this year similar to last winter. Although ticks typically don’t become active until after Easter, we saw our first tick-borne illness in Nashville in early March which is unusually early. Because we live in a city with many heavily wooded areas and a high incidence of ticks, we see a fair amount of tick bites during the summer months and beyond.

Knowing no true season with our changing weather patterns and resulting conditions, ticks are now a year-round problem. Tick season is usually between March and October; but it may last longer. This is because wet weather and warmer temperatures make ticks active for longer in the year. However, ticks are something that we should think about year round, which is why year-round tick control is essential.

Trust Mosquito Squad of Nashville for your Nashville tick control needs, throughout the year.

Also Read: Are ticks bad in Tennessee?