Dog Tick Massachusetts Photos
The American Dog Tick, or Dermacentor variabilis is definitely found in Massachusetts. These dogs ticks were photographed in Sutton Massachusetts. These are the largest ticks found in Massachusetts, and three end-to-end could span a penny. It has mahogany reddish brown legs, eight of them, and a brown main body. The abdomen part closest to the head is light tan in color with darker brown streaks leading up to the head. The males and females look similar, but not identical. The females have a whiter collar and a redder body. The males have a dappled pattern of red and white over their body.
The American Dog Tick is found over much of the United States. So it's not unique to Massachusetts, but it is quite common here. Unfortunately.
This tick has three stages of life - larva, nymph, and then the adult stage. They eat blood at each stage. They can last up to two years without feeding, so you can't really starve them to death. You want to drop them in alcohol.
These hardy little creatures can be found from March through September. They can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, so it's good to check for ticks after going outside. Note that it apparently CANNOT carry Lyme disease, so you are safe there.
When pulling a tick from your skin, always use tweezers so you don't get any tick parts on your hands. Grab at the head / mouth area and pull straight out. Don't use flame or other techniques on the ticks - anything that agitates them is going to make them latch down even stronger.
These first four photos are all of an adult female dog tick. This was found in our house in April 2013.
This is an ex-dog-tick, in alcohol, to show its size compared with a penny.
These next photos are of an adult male dog tick. They are shown in comparison with a nymph deer tick, which is far tinier. So at least you can see dog ticks. This dog tick had already been dropped in alcohol, which caused the curling legs. We found this in the house in June 2013, crawling on a curtain. The ruler is showing inches, so each mark is a tenth of an inch.
The next photos are also of an adult male dog tick. It was found only two days after the previous one, and also in the house! This one was crawling up my leg. Where are these things coming from?
Dog ticks are fairly large, at least compared with deer ticks, so you're likely to see them on you. It's a good idea to check yourself after each time you go outside.
To see full details on the deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease, visit my Deer Tick Photos
Deer Tick vs Dog Tick
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