How to Identify The Ticks That Are Commonly Seen in Maryland

Ticks are annoying. They’re also dangerous. That’s because they’re liable to spread diseases. With the return of fall and its cooler weather, it’s a great time to get outside. Whether you like to go hiking in nearby park trails or you want to explore the woods behind your home, it’s best to be prepared. It’s dangerous to go alone! Take our handy guide on how to identify the ticks commonly seen in our state with you!

A Quick Look at What Ticks Are

Even though ticks are frequently classified as insects, they’re actually arachnids. This means they’re more closely related to spiders and mites. Ticks are tiny, and some can be virtually invisible to the unaided eye. The average tick reproduces in the fall – which is why exercising extra caution against their presence matters so much during this time of year. While Lyme disease is the most common illness associated with these pests, they’re also notorious for spreading Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick paralysis, among others.

Common Types of Ticks

Maryland residents should be wary of four tick species: the American Dog Tick, the Blacklegged Tick (also called the Deer Tick), the Brown Dog Tick, and the Lone Star Tick. The American Dog Tick enjoys feeding on blood from dogs and humans. The diseases spread by this species are Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and tick paralysis.

The Blacklegged Tick, on the other hand, is the breed that spreads Lyme disease. It gets its name from the color of its legs, which helps distinguish it from its counterparts. They’re also called the “deer tick” because they feed on blood from White-Tailed Deer during the harsh weather of winter. Aside from Lyme disease, blacklegs carry anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Powassan disease.

The Brown Dog Tick gets its name from its habit of feeding on our canine companions. But if it can’t find any dogs, they’ll prey on humans, too. They’re the culprits behind the spread of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, and canine babesiosis.

The Lone Star Tick is notable for the small white dot on its back. This dot looks highly similar to a star. The diseases it typically carries are ehrlichiosis, STARI, tularemia, and a meat allergy that is the most commonly recognized side effect of their bite.

How to Remove the Tick

Let’s talk about the easiest ways to detect the tick and then remove it. Their favorite hiding spot is somewhere dark and warm. Focus your attention on joints, behind the ears, and body parts with hair. Use gloved hands or tweezers to pull the tick away from the skin. Clean the area where you found the tick – soap, water, and iodine are the most effective remedies. Determine which type the tick is, then kill it by dropping it into rubbing alcohol. Be sure to keep an eye on the condition of the bitten area and call a doctor if it worsens.

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 29th, 2021 at 11:34 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.