Tick Hosts


Like the deer tick, the American dog tick is a 3 host tick, targeting smaller mammals when it is a larva and nymph, and larger mammals as an adult.


The dorsal (upper side or back) view of female and male adult dog ticks is shown here.


American Dog Ticks



Species name: Dermacentor variabilis


Diseases it can transmit: Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Tularemia. Note: No Maine-acquired cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever have been confirmed to date.


Shown: A female and a male dog tick.

Where it's found: 

This tick is particularly abundant in southwestern Maine, but its range has now expanded throughout the state.


Note: Dog ticks are not active in October and November when adult deer tick activity is at its peak. Almost all ticks that are found at this time of year are deer ticks.


Life cycle: Immature stages feed on voles, mice and other small rodents, but adults are often found on humans, dogs, and other domestic animals. The adults, found from May through July but rarely later in the season, are larger than Ixodes ticks and can be distinguished by characteristic grayish-white markings.