Tick Control: Diseases in Animals

At Mosquito Authority, we make it our priority to protect your entire family– including the furry members. A big part of ensuring the safety of your dogs and cats is knowing that they are safe from ticks and tick-borne diseases. That’s why we take tick control seriously; so you can have peace of mind every time your pets are enjoying the outdoors.

You probably know that getting bitten by a tick puts your pet at risk for Lyme disease. However, ticks can spread numerous other diseases to animals as well, and can even infect your pets with more than one at a time. 

Here are some tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted to animals:

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted by the wood tick in the western United States and the American dog tick in the eastern part of the country. It’s important to frequently check your pets for ticks, because they can contract Rocky Mountain spotted fever after a tick has been on them for five hours. When infected with this disease, dogs can experience joint pain, reduced appetite, liver damage, heart problems, or other serious symptoms.

Anaplasmosis

Anaplasmosis is transmitted by deer ticks and western black-legged ticks. Both dogs and cats can contract this disease. If your pet has been infected with anaplasmosis, they may experience vomiting, joint pain, and nervous system disorders, among other things. 

Tularemia

Tularemia can be transmitted by three different ticks in the United States: the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). This disease, also known as rabbit fever, usually affects cats more often than dogs. There is no preventative vaccine for tularemia, but it can be treated with antibiotics.

Babesiosis

Babesiosis is one of the more serious illnesses caused by tick bites. Usually caused by a bite from an Ixodes scapularis tick (deer tick), most cases of this disease are found in the northeastern and Upper Midwest areas of the United States. Babesiosis can cause severe problems in dogs, including high fever, depression, shock, and even death. 

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the more commonly known tick-borne illnesses, and a significant reason why we practice tick control. Like Babesiosis, Lyme disease is primarily reported in the Upper Midwestern and northeastern United States and transmitted by the deer tick. It usually takes about 48 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease to its host, so be sure to check your pets for ticks often and remove them as soon as possible. Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include fever, swollen joints, and reduced appetite.


Practicing tick control and preventing tick-borne illnesses is an important part of making sure your pets are happy and healthy. Click here to find your local tick control company.

For more information on tick-borne diseases, 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.

Tick and Mosquito Control Facts

At Mosquito Authority, we know it is important to have all of the facts when it comes to tick and mosquito control. Educating yourself on these pests is a big step towards having a mosquito and tick-free home, and we want you to be as informed as possible. There is a lot to know when it comes to mosquitoes and ticks, so we put together some fun facts you might not have heard before:

Scratching a mosquito bite agitates the area

Although you might feel relief for a few seconds, scratching a mosquito bite does not actually help. In fact, it makes it worse by agitating the area and increasing the itchiness you feel. Some remedies including aloe vera, honey, and chamomile tea can help reduce the itch of a mosquito bite.

Animals can contract more than one disease from ticks

The need for tick control stems from their potential to spread diseases to both humans and animals. According to Country Friends Veterinary Clinic, animals can actually contract more than one disease from a single tick bite. Also, dogs are more likely to experience a tick bite because cats frequently clean themselves.

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow water

Have you ever wondered why mosquito control specialists recommend getting rid of any standing water in your yard? Well, it’s because female mosquitoes lay their eggs in areas of shallow water and sometimes even damp soil. 

You should avoid removing ticks with your bare hands

While you might be tempted to remove a tick from yourself or a pet with your hands, use tweezers instead. Using tweezers will allow you to grab the tick as close to your skin as possible to make sure you don’t leave any part of the tick in your skin. It is also important to remove ticks as quickly as possible!

We didn’t always know that mosquitoes spread West Nile Virus

According to Smithsonian Magazine, birds were once believed to be the cause of spreading West Nile Virus in the United States. It was not until 2010 that a study revealed mosquitoes to be the true cause of West Nile Virus cases from 2001 to 2004. As mosquito control specialists, we want to ensure that you and your family are protected from these pests and the diseases they carry.

Most ticks go through four life stages

The life stages of most ticks are egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. Ticks need a blood meal at each stage of life, meaning they need to find and feed on at least one host per life stage. 

There are several effective mosquito repellents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four effective chemical repellents: DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535, and Picaridin. 

There are more species of tick than you think 

While there are only 90 tick species found in the United States, there are over 850 species of ticks throughout the world. Tick species found in the U.S. include the American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the Eastern Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes scapularis), and the Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum). 

For more information on tick and mosquito control, check out our other blogs!

Life Cycle of a Tick

At Mosquito Authority, we don’t just protect you and your family from mosquitoes; we offer tick extermination as well! Ticks are notorious for causing all sorts of diseases, from Lyme Disease to Rocky Mountain spotted fever to anaplasmosis. In order to survive, these pests latch onto animals and/or humans to get their meals. If you want to read some interesting facts about these pests, check out our blog highlighting some things you probably didn’t know about ticks.

Nobody really wants to think about ticks, but these creatures actually have a fascinating life cycle. Most ticks go through four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. After hatching, a tick must eat a blood meal at every life stage in order to move onto the next one. The CDC estimates that preparing to feed can take anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours, depending on the species of the tick and its stage of life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Ticks that require this many hosts can take up to three years to complete their full life cycle, and most will die because they don’t find a host for their next feeding.” 

While the tick life cycle is very similar for all ticks, it does vary for some species. For example, the Rhipicephalus sanguineus, otherwise known as the brown dog tick, prefers to feed on the same host during all of its life stages. Most other species, however, need different hosts at each life stage. Ticks have the ability to feed on mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians, increasing the chance that they will come into contact with disease at some point in their lives.

When a tick feeds on someone or something with a bloodborne infection, it ingests the pathogens in that host’s blood. So, when that tick finds a new host during its next life stage, it can transfer whatever disease it has ingested to its new food source.

So, how do ticks find their hosts? According to the CDC, these pests can detect an animal’s (that includes humans) breath and body odors, as well as sense body heat, vibrations, and moisture. Ticks can also identify paths with a lot of traffic and search for hosts there. However, because ticks can’t jump or fly, they sit on leaves and/or tall grass and wait for a host to walk by.

This is why maintaining your yard is an important part of tick extermination. Because many ticks search for hosts in areas of tall grass and bushes, clearing this foliage from the edge of your lawn can help reduce the blacklegged tick population. You should also remove any leaf litter from your lawn and keep playground equipment away from trees.

We also highly recommend hiring a professional tick extermination service. Ticks can carry a wide variety of diseases, and exterminating them will give you more peace of mind when enjoying your outdoor space. Just like with our mosquito control service, Mosquito Authority offers you tick extermination with no contracts and no commitments. Call us today to schedule a tick treatment!