Species Spotlight: Brown Dog Tick

As a tick control company, we at Mosquito Authority make it a priority to educate our customers on these pests. Ticks, apart from being a nuisance in your backyard, pose many potential health risks to you and your family– including the furry ones. There are a variety of tick species that inhabit the United States, and it is important to understand the differences between them in order to practice proper tick control.

Last week we told you about the lone star tick, which tends to inhabit the eastern half of the United States and is responsible for transmitting diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Heartland virus disease. In this week’s Species Spotlight, we will be talking about the Rhipicephalus sanguineus, commonly referred to as the brown dog tick. Read on to learn more about where brown dog ticks live, what diseases they spread, and more:

Where do they live?

Unlike other tick species that are only found in a specific region, brown dog ticks can be found worldwide. While these ticks inhabit areas all throughout the United States, they are particularly common in the southern states. Brown dog ticks tend to infest areas where there is a lot of human activity, especially homes

How long do they live and what is their life cycle?

Unlike other species, brown dog ticks can spend their entire lives indoors and can sometimes complete their life cycles in just three months. Another thing that differentiates these ticks from other species is that they prefer to feed on one host throughout their entire life cycle. Brown dog ticks can also carry different diseases at different stages of their lives.

Are they dangerous to humans?

Although their name might suggest otherwise, brown dog ticks do in fact feed on humans in rare cases. When they cannot find an animal to bite, these ticks will resort to getting blood meals from human hosts. Brown dog ticks do not typically transmit diseases to humans, but they can infect humans with Rocky Mountain spotted fever on rare occasions.

Are they dangerous to animals?

Ticks of this species are particularly dangerous to dogs. As their name suggests, brown dog ticks can transmit a variety of diseases to dogs such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, and canine babesiosis. These types of ticks transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever in all stages of life, whereas they can only infect dogs with canine ehrlichiosis and canine babesiosis during the nymph and adult life stages. 

When are they active?

Brown dog ticks are active throughout the year during all stages of life, so it is important to practice proper tick control at all times.

What do they look like?

Nymph and adult brown dog ticks are reddish-brown in color. These ticks do not have any unique markings on their bodies.

How can I protect myself and my pets from brown dog ticks?

Here are just a few common tick control methods that can help protect you and your dogs from brown dog ticks:

  • Check your dogs for ticks every time they come back into your house
  • Remove leaf litter from your yard
  • Remove ticks right away if you find one on your pet 
  • Mow your lawn often
  • Hire a local tick control company

The more you know about ticks, the better you can prevent them from invading your yard. While there are preventative measures you can take to avoid ticks, the best thing you can do is hire a professional. To find your local tick control company, click here.

Covid-Safe Holiday Tips

2020 has been a long year for everyone, which is why we all deserve to enjoy the holiday season! Unfortunately, our celebrations will most likely look a little different this year due to the spread of COVID-19. However, that just means we have to find new ways to enjoy the holidays!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are plenty of precautions you can take that will minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 while still celebrating this season. Here are some tips for a COVID-safe holiday season:

Host a virtual gathering

While virtual Secret Santa parties or Christmas dinners might not be your preferred way of celebrating the holidays, they are relatively COVID-safe. If you can’t see family or friends over the holidays due to the pandemic, you can still make it special by seeing them over a phone or laptop. Virtual gatherings pose little risk for contracting COVID-19, which makes them a viable option for holiday celebrations.

Wear masks and stay outside where possible

If you do decide to see people over the holidays, make sure you follow the proper COVID precautions. The CDC recommends hosting outdoor rather than indoor gatherings and always wearing a mask to reduce your risk of contracting the virus. You should also bring hand sanitizer wherever you go, whether you are doing some last-minute Christmas shopping or attending a gift exchange. 

Have a “drive-by” party

For months now, people have been opting to have “drive-by” parties in lieu of birthday parties and holiday gatherings. If you’re itching for some human interaction during the Christmas season (who isn’t?), consider hosting a “drive-by” party where friends and family can celebrate from the safety of their own vehicles. Sit out on the front porch or sidewalk and enjoy the festivities!

Prepare homemade dishes and deliver them in advance

The pandemic is unfortunately forcing many people, especially those at high-risk for contracting COVID, to celebrate the holidays alone or somewhat isolated. If you know of someone who is spending this holiday season by themselves, consider delivering them a home-cooked meal or a traditional family dish. Just be sure to make a contactless delivery and take proper COVID precautions! 

Keep it in the family

For some, the holidays aren’t the same without family. If you plan on getting together with your family over the holidays, try to keep the gathering small and maintain social distancing guidelines with those you do not live with. While the CDC does not provide a specific number for gatherings, they do recommend limiting the number of attendees as much as possible.

Opt to shop online

Online shopping has become more and more popular over the years and is a relatively COVID-safe option for Christmas shoppers. Instead of shopping in crowded stores, try ordering your Christmas presents online to eliminate the potential risk of in-person shopping. If you do opt to go to physical stores, don’t forget to wear a mask and practice social distancing!

For more information on COVID-19 guidelines during the holidays, visit the CDC website.

Species Spotlight: Lone Star Tick

With approximately 90 species of ticks inhabiting the United States, it is important to know what to look out for and how to prevent these pests. As a local tick control company, we at Mosquito Authority take tick control seriously not only because these pests are a nuisance, but also because they pose potential health risks. No two tick species are exactly the same, however, so it is crucial that we understand the differences between them.

Last week we told you all about the blacklegged, or deer, tick: where they live, what they look like, who they prey on, and more. In this week’s Species Spotlight, you will be learning about a different type of tick: the Amblyomma americanum, otherwise known as the lone star tick. Read on to know exactly what to look for when it comes to the lone star tick:                               

Where do they live?

The lone star tick can be found in the eastern half of the United States, all the way from Louisiana to Maine. However, they are particularly common in the southeastern states of the country. These ticks are often found in dense woodlands.

How long do they live?

The life cycle of the lone star tick is very similar to that of the deer tick, as it goes through the typical four stages of life: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. Lone star ticks need to have three different hosts throughout their lives, as they need a new blood meal to move on from each life stage. 

Are they dangerous to humans?

The short answer is yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lone star ticks are highly aggressive towards humans. Humans are not only in danger of being bitten by these ticks, but also for contracting diseases from them. The lone star tick is responsible for transmitting illnesses such as ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Heartland virus disease, Bourbon virus disease, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These ticks are most likely to bite humans as nymphs or adult females.

Are they dangerous to animals?

Lone star ticks can get their blood meals from both humans and animals. Because of this, animals are also at risk for contracting diseases from these ticks. Lone star ticks can transmit diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia to animals.

When are they active?

According to the CDC, the greatest risk for getting bitten by an adult lone star tick exists from the early spring through late fall. Nymphs are usually active starting in May while larvae begin searching for small animals to feed on in July.

What do they look like?

Lone star ticks have a unique appearance. Adult females of this species have a white dot, commonly referred to as a “lone star,” on their backs. Male lone star ticks are distinguished by having white spots or stripes around the edge of their bodies.

How do I protect myself from lone star ticks?

You can help protect yourself and your family from lone star ticks with some of these common tick control techniques:

  • Mow your lawn frequently
  • Construct fences to discourage wildlife from entering your yard
  • Remove old furniture and trash from your yard
  • Hire a local tick control company 

Now that you know a little bit about lone star ticks, you can better protect your home and family from these pests. Our mission at Mosquito Authority is to ensure your home is tick-free so you can have peace of mind in your outdoor space.


To find your local tick control company, click here.

Species Spotlight: Deer Tick

Did you know there are 90 species of tick in the United States and roughly 850 worldwide? With many of these species being vectors for diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, knowing how to prevent ticks around your home is crucial. 

To be able to understand and practice proper tick control, it is important to educate yourself on these arachnids. Knowing how they spread disease, where they live, how they find hosts, and more is vital for protecting yourself and your family from ticks. 

One of the most common species of ticks in the United States is the Ixodes scapularis, also known as the blacklegged tick and commonly referred to as the deer tick. Read on for more important information about this species of tick:

Where do they live? 

Blacklegged or deer ticks usually inhabit the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, or north-central areas of the United States. 

How long do they live?

Like most other tick species, the deer tick goes through four stages throughout its life: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged larva, and adult. This entire life cycle usually lasts around two years. The deer tick is most likely to bite humans as a nymph and as an adult female.

Are they dangerous to humans?

There are several tick species that spread disease to humans, and the deer tick is one of them. Diseases transmitted by these ticks include Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, B. miyamotoi disease, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and Powassan virus disease. Some of these illnesses are serious and can even result in death. Humans are considered “accidental hosts” for these ticks, as they prefer to feed on large animals.

Are they dangerous to animals?

As their name suggests, the deer tick’s preferred host is a deer. When an infected deer tick feeds on a deer, however, the host animal usually does not become infected with the disease. 

When are they active?

Deer ticks in the adult stage of life are typically active October through May. However, they may be active for longer or shorter periods of time, depending on the weather. As long as temperatures outside stay above freezing, there is a chance these ticks are active.

How do they find their hosts?

Because they cannot fly or jump, ticks rely on other methods of finding hosts. The majority of ticks find their hosts through a process known as “questing.” When a tick is questing, it holds onto a leaf or blade of grass with one pair of legs and waits with another pair of legs outstretched. When a potential host walks by, the tick then latches onto it. These arachnids usually quest at knee-height. Deer ticks prefer large hosts such as white-tail deer or other mammals.

What do they look like?

Deer ticks are known for having a brownish color but can sometimes be more reddish or rust colored. Adult male deer ticks are usually smaller than females and brown in color, while adult females are bigger and can vary from red to brown. 

How do I protect myself from deer ticks?

As with all ticks, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your family from deer ticks. Some common tick control methods include:

  • Clearing your yard of leaf litter
  • Mowing your lawn often and keeping grass/bushes short
  • Keeping playground equipment away from trees and yard edges
  • Stacking wood in dry areas
  • Hire a professional tick control company

Ticks are not only a nuisance but also health risk to you and your family. A key component of keeping your life tick-free is hiring a professional pest control company. At Mosquito Authority, we offer tick control services with no contracts and no commitments to ensure your family is safe from ticks and the diseases they carry.

To find your local tick control company, click here.

Common Tick and Mosquito Myths

As a mosquito and tick control business, we know it is important for our customers to have all of the facts when it comes to these pests. Think you know all there is to know about mosquitoes and ticks? Here are some commonly-believed myths about these pests that might surprise you:

Myth: All mosquitoes bite

While it might seem like every mosquito on earth is out to bite you as soon as you step outside, that is actually not the case. The truth is only female mosquitoes bite humans, as they need blood to lay their eggs. Male mosquitoes, on the other hand, only need to feed on nectar and other plant nutrients.

Myth: Ticks find their hosts by falling or jumping from trees

While this is probably the most widely believed “fact” about ticks, it is a myth. Ticks lack the ability to jump and fly, so they will climb up a blade of grass or some shrubbery and wait until a human or animal brushes by. This is why trimming tall grass and other foliage around your yard is a common method of tick control.

Myth: Citronella candles are 100% effective

While citronella candles work to some degree as mosquito deterrent, they are not totally effective. In fact, regular candles probably work just the same as those with citronella in them. The amount of citronella oil used in candles is very small, so using a DEET repellent is a much more powerful deterrent.

Myth: Ticks die off in the winter

It is a popular belief that ticks, along with most other summer pests, die off in the winter. However, some species of tick, such as the Ixodes scapularis (blacklegged tick) and Ixodes pacificus (western blacklegged tick), can actually survive the colder months. Temperatures have to be below freezing for ticks to die, so there is a good chance ticks will still be around if you live in a warm region of the country.

Myth: Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with “sweet” blood

There is a common myth that mosquitoes tend to bite certain people who have “sweet” blood. However, this is not true. In fact, the taste of a person’s blood has nothing to do with his or her risk of being bitten. According to the CDC, Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and the lactic acid in our breath, so the odors we release play a big role in how attractive we are to these pests. 

Studies have also shown that mosquitoes are more likely to bite those with Type O blood rather than Type A, so your blood type might actually be contributing to your mosquito bites.

Myth: Drinking alcohol does not attract mosquitoes

Studies have shown that drinking alcohol, particularly beer, increases your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. In a study published by the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, researchers discovered that the percentage of mosquito landings on people greatly increased after beer drinking. In other words, make sure you are wearing extra mosquito repellent if you are planning on having a drink outside.

We take mosquito and tick control seriously so you and your family can have peace of mind in your outdoor space. Contact a Mosquito Authority location near you to take back your backyard and check out our other blogs for more information on these pests.