Ticks in Florida

Ticks can usually be found year round throughout Florida, but there are seasons where they become more abundant. Ticks can most certainly transmit any disease they may be carrying no matter what stage of life they are in, so removing them quickly as well as preventing them is very important. The nymphs are dangerous due to spreading diseases much more often than adults. Their small size plays factor in that because they can easily go unnoticed.

 

Brown Dog Tick

This tick will mainly feed on dogs. You will find them mostly where dogs will frequent most. The CDC has actually found that this type of tick has been responsible for spreading Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). This has been active along the Southwestern United States as well as along the Mexican border.

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American Dog Tick

This tick will often be found on dogs, however they have been found on other animals and humans. It is mainly and outdoor tick, not likely to be a household pest. It can also be a carrier of RMSF.

The babies will attach to rodents which is not like the adults. The adults will attach themselves to humans and are also quite abundant March through September.

American dog ticks can also be the cause of paralysis in dogs and children. This is caused by the tick attaching to the base of the skull or the spinal column and it releases a toxic secretion. It usually takes up to 24 hours to recover from this epidemic after removing the tick.

american dog tick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lone Star Tick

This is the most common biting tick in Florida when it comes to humans. They are easily detectable as well, there is a light colored spot on the back of females. These do carry as well as transmit ehrlichiosis and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI).

Lone Star babies will be seen between the months of February and October. The adults you won’t see until usually around April through August and they will be at their peak in July.

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Gulf Coast Tick

This one is seen mostly in southeastern states. They look very similar to the American Dog Tick but they have larger mouth parts. This tick will transfer a less severe RMSF.

Babies will be discovered during early spring time, which is January through April. The adults not until March through September. The adults of this particular tick will quite often be found on the ears of large mammals, such as cattle.

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Black Legged Tick

This tick is also known as the deer tick. It is very well known for carrying Lyme disease. They are also known to carry babesiosis and HGA (human granulocytic anaplasmosis).

Their babies are usually found April through August, with the adults coming out around winter time (September through May).

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Prevention and Control

In order for a tick to transmit disease organisms, they must feed for at least several hours. Like mentioned before, quick identification as well as removal will greatly help the risk of a tick-borne disease. The removal of a tick can be quite the task. You must grab it by the mouth part with tweezers and pull it straight out with very firm pressure.

Some tips to help avoid tick bites and diseases are:

~ Removing ticks from people and pets as soon as they are noticed

~ In tick infested areas, keep your clothes buttoned up tight and tucked in, also keep your pants inside your boots

~ Wear light colored clothing so you can easily spot ticks

~ Apply repellent to any uncovered skin

~ Avoid touching any kind of plants in tick-infested areas

~ Check for ticks daily if you live in wooded areas

~ Keep any brush along pathways and frequented areas clear

 

 

 

 

References:

http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/families_and_consumers/ticks_and_disease.shtml

  1. Koehler and F. Oi,Ticks (Family Ixoididae)(ENY-206), Entomology and Nematology Department (rev. 07/2011).

 

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