In addition to expert mosquito control services, we also offer tick control services at Mosquito Authority. Ticks are not only bothersome pests that invade your yard, but they are also vectors for a variety of dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases.
We believe it is essential to educate our customers on ticks, from where they are most commonly found to what diseases they carry. In our last Species Spotlight, we told you some key facts about the Gulf Coast tick, including what their lifecycles look like and how best to avoid them.
In this Species Spotlight, we are highlighting the Rocky Mountain Wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni). Read on for information on this type of tick:
Where do they live?
Rocky Mountain wood ticks are typically found, as the name suggests, in the Rocky Mountain states of the United States (i.e. Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, etc.). These ticks can also be found in some parts of Southwestern Canada. According to the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), they prefer to inhabit scrublands, lightly-wooded areas, and grasslands.
What does their lifecycle look like?
Most ticks go through four stages of life: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. However, these ticks act differently depending on which life stage they are in. For example, Rocky Mountain Wood ticks prefer to feed on large mammals as adults but typically feed on small rodents as nymphs and larvae. Members of this species usually live for about two to three years.
Are they dangerous to humans?
Rocky Mountain Wood ticks are responsible for spreading a few diseases to humans: Colorado tick fever virus (CTFV), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), and tularemia. Both nymphs and adults of this species can transmit tularemia, while they can transmit RMSF and CTFV while in all stages of life. Because of a certain neurotoxin in their saliva, ticks of this species can occasionally cause tick paralysis.
Are they dangerous to animals?
Just like with humans, Rocky Mountain Wood ticks can transmit certain illnesses to animals. For example, animals can contract Rocky Mountain spotted fever or tularemia if they are bitten by a Rocky Mountain Wood tick. Animals bitten by these ticks can also experience tick paralysis, as with humans.
When are they active?
Rocky Mountain Wood ticks, especially adult males and females, are typically active from January to November, but reduce their activity during the summer months. They are most active during the late spring and early summer months of the year. Nymphs, on the other hand, are most active from March through October, and larvae follow the same pattern.
What do they look like?
According to the NEHA, adult female Rocky Mountain wood ticks resemble American Dog ticks. They are dark brown and cream-colored, while adult males have dark brown bodies with brown markings.
How do I protect myself and my pets from Rocky Mountain Wood ticks?
There are several ways to reduce your risk of being bitten by ticks. Here a few:
- Check your pets for ticks after they come indoors
- Remove leaf litter from your yard
- Avoid grassy or wooded areas
- Hire a local tick control company
Rocky Mountain Wood ticks are found in many states and can transmit several serious diseases. While it’s important to practice tick control at home, the most effective way to prevent tick bites is by hiring tick control professionals. At Mosquito Authority, we make it our mission to protect you and your family from ticks and the diseases they carry.
Find your local tick control company here.