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American Dog tick.Causal Agent

Dermacentor variabilis



The American dog tick has a fairly wide host range. Dogs are a preferred host but adults commonly infest both large and medium sized mammals such as cattle, deer, raccoons, and opossum. The immature stages may feed on these same hosts but prefer to infest smaller mammals such as meadow mice, squirrels, and chipmunks. All stages of the American dog tick will also feed on humans if given the opportunity. In Oklahoma, this tick transmits the causative organism for Rocky Mountain spotted fever.


Life Cycle

Under suitable conditions the life cycle from egg to adult may require only 3 months but usually takes over a year to complete.



This is a colorful species, having spots of light colors (white, gray, silver) scattered and superimposed over the basic brown or black body color.



Please contact your local county extension office for current information.

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