Ticks are parasitic insects that need to feed on blood to survive. Since they feed on blood they can become infected with certain diseases that they then spread to other animals or to people. Different types of ticks spread different disease. There are about eight species of ticks in the United States. Fortunately, only about seven of those are actually dangerous to people.
American Dog Tick
The American Dog tick can be found in the Eastern United States and along the cost of California. According to the article What Tick Are Most Dangerous in North Carolina, the American Dog tick carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.
Lone Star Tick
The Lone Star tick can be found in the eastern United States and into the Midwest. The Lone Star tick will carry the Heartland virus, tularemia, and STARI. It can also cause meat allergies to develop in people who are bitten by it.
Western Blacklegged Tick
The Western Blacklegged tick is found along the western coast and in parts of Utah. It has been known to spread anaplasmosis and Lyme disease in these areas.
Brown Dog Tick
The Brown Dog tick is located throughout the United States. It is a known carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, though most of the cases attributed to it are found in the southwestern United States.
The Blacklegged tick can be found in the east, in the states around the gulf coast and in the states around the Great lakes. It carries a number of disease including Powassan disease, Lyme disease, and anaplasmosis.
Gulf Coast Tick
The Gulf Coast tick is located in the states around the Gulf coast and along the coast of the southeastern states. It can also be found in Arkansas and bards of Oklahoma. It transmits a form of spotted fever call rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis.
Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
The Rocky Mountain Wood tick is found in the states that have the Rocky Mountains in them. It can also be found in southwestern Canada. This tick can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever and tularemia.
Protecting Yourself from Ticks
Once you understand just how prevalent ticks are throughout the United States, you can begin to see why it is important to protect yourself from ticks. Insect spray with DEET in it has proven the most effective at stopping ticks from biting while you are enjoying time outdoors. Wearing long sleeves and long pants can also help since it makes it harder for a tick to attach when it first crawls on you. If you are in an area that is heavily populated with ticks, you should tuck your pants into your socks, and tuck your shirt into your pants. Be sure to change when you arrive home.
Checking for ticks on a regular basis is also important. If the tick’s saliva gets into your skin and it is infected, then you will become infected. The chance of this happening increases the longer they are attached. If you can remove the ticks safely as quickly as possible, you lessen the chance of catching a disease.
There is also the option of treating your yard for ticks. Ticks are found outside of heavily wooded areas. If you are worried about ticks, then you should contact an exterminator to learn more about this option. This treatment will also help with fleas and mosquitoes.