Tick identification for pest control in ME, MA, and NH

American Dog Ticks

Appearance

Speckled white or creamy dorsal appearance. Females have a shorter “shield” or dorsal plate while the males are slightly smaller with a dorsal plate that covers most of their body. normally very flat in appearance unless they are expanding with blood. Their mouthparts are short; once they cut into the skin with their two chelicerae, they can anchor themselves with a single barbed structure called a hypostome.

Habitat

People normally find female adult ticks on their person as these ticks search for a blood meal. Male ticks and nymphs and larvae feed on smaller mammals. Ticks prefer woods and tall grassy areas along animal trails. In some years, ticks may become locally abundant, especially in wet areas.

Diet

Ticks feed on the blood of their host.

Reproduction

A female adult tick may lay thousands of eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the larval ticks rapidly disperse and normally find a small mammal or lizard as a host.