Tick Classification Guide


There are few pests quite as terrifying as ticks. Understanding the types you may be facing, though, can help you prevent problems.

Type of Ticks in Massachusetts

One of the most important things you can remember is that there are a number of different kinds of ticks out there with which you may have to deal with. Here are the most common types in Massachusetts.

Deer Ticks (Sesame Seed Tick)

Deer ticks reach only the size of a sesame seed at the end of their life cycle, but they have the ability to transmit Lyme disease. They live for just two years and feed exclusively on animal blood. They can only transmit Lyme disease at two points during their life cycle, and according to the CDC, in most cases, they must be attached for at least 36 hours to transmit the disease.

Dog Ticks

You’re most likely to see this tick, and it’s also the biggest of those that fall into the Eastern Wood Ticks category. It has eight legs, and it’s typically a brown color with a hint of red. Usually, it has white or yellow markings. Males and females are about 1/8 of an inch in length, but when the females take their blood meal, they grow to nearly a half inch in length.

Lone Star Ticks

These ticks are a light brown or reddish color, and the females have a single white dot in the center of their body. Males have spots or streaks of white on the outer edge of the body.

Brown Dog Ticks

Unlike many other types of ticks, these can complete a whole life cycle in your home, so pets bringing them into the house could create an infestation quickly. They are very small, reddish-brown in color, and have an elongated body that many other ticks do not. They prefer to feed on dogs but will feed on any mammal. It is rare for this type of tick to cause disease in humans, but it can create health problems for pets.

If you do seem to have a tick infestation on your hands, whether in your yard or in your home, the single best thing you can do is contact a professional tick control service for help. Most pest control companies like Ransford Pest Control offer tick extermination and control services alongside their mosquito services.

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