Ticks on Cats, Head, Ears, Belly, Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Removal, Treatment, Prevention — Home Remedies

Ticks on Cats, Head, Ears, Belly, Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Removal, Treatment, Prevention & Home Remedies

What are the Signs and Symptoms of ticks on cats? Discover how you can identify ticks on your cat, including those on the head, ears and belly. Explore illustrative pictures of these ticks on cats. Also, learn the causes of ticks on dogs and how to get rid of and prevent those using treatments and effective home remedies.

Ticks on Cats Symptoms

If your cat has recently visited a wooded area, or if the cat is living in an area which is infested with ticks, It might be necessary to check if it is infested. Symptoms of ticks on cats are usually gradual in nature. They include:

  • Vomiting in cats
  • Regurgitation
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate and the rhythm (tachyarrhythmias)
  • Weakness in hind limbs
  • Partial loss of muscle movements
  • Complete loss of muscle movement, especially in advanced disease state
  • Poor reflexes to loss of reflex
  • Low muscle tone
  • Difficulty while eating
  • Disorder in voice (dysphonia)
  • Asphyxia because of respiratory muscle paralysis in affected animals
  • Excessive drooling
  • Megaesophagus
  • Excessive dilatation of pupil in eye

Pictures on Ticks on Cats

What do ticks on dogs look like? We have inserted illustrative pictures of ticks on dogs in various sections of this page. These images will certainly enable you to understand and identify them with ease.

How to Get Ticks off Cats

Ticks are usually very small parasites which are not only a nuisance but also are able to transfer diseases to cat that can make him be very sick.

If you happen to see a tick on your cat, it is very crucial to understand how to safely get rid of the tick from your cat’s skin. Proper method of removing ticks prevent you and your cat from contracting diseases.

Ticks on cats removal might be a very tricky process, more especially if your cat is a bit squirmy, so take time and make sure that you do it right the very first time.

Gathering the Proper Tools

  1. Have a tick-removal instrument. You can use either a fine-tipped tweezers or even any recommended tick-removal tool. If you are not sure of the type of instrument that you can use, contact your veterinarian for advice. You can also obtain a tick-removal instrument from your pet store.
  2. Obtain latex gloves, if you do not already have them. Touching ticks on cats with your bare hands may expose you to the tick-borne disease, so you will be required to protect your hands using gloves when you get rid of the tick. If you have already obtained a latex allergy, then you can use the nitrile gloves. Latex gloves can be obtained at your local pharmacy.
  3. Pour rubbing alcohol into a Ziploc bag. After you get rid of ticks on cats, place it in a container that has rubbing alcohol which will eventually kill it. The rubbing alcohol might as well be used to clean the area of the skin where you got rid of the tick. Cotton balls can be very useful while applying the rubbing alcohol to skin after removal.
  4. Purchase cat-safe triple antibiotic ointment and hydrocortisone ointment. The area of the skin where you have removed the tick can probably be irritated for weeks. The antibiotic ointment can greatly assist to prevent any kind of infection and the hydrocortisone ointment is able to soothe the irritation.
  • The human antibiotic and the hydrocortisone ointments might be very strong for cats, so ask your veterinarian about appropriate ointments that can be used.
  • If you do not have them, purchase Q-tips to use in applying the ointment to your cat’s skin without using fingers.
  • Once you have gathered all tools, place them in a well-lit area where you can remove the tick. Having everything organized beforehand can assist the tick-removal process to go on smoothly.

Safely Removing the Tick

  1. Observe if the cat is showing signs of tick poisoning. If the tick is on cat’s skin for a long period of time, it might make him sick. Symptoms are able to be more serious the longer period that the tick is attached to the skin. If your cat is showing indications of tick poisoning, then take him to your veterinarian for treatment.
  2. Put on a pair of gloves. Do not touch ticks on cats directly with your hands. Gloves are able to protect you from tick-borne disease and can assist to keep your hands clean during the process.
  3. Find the tick on cat’s skin. Make sure that you are in a well-lit area, as ticks are not easy to find on the cat’s skin. Part the fur with your hands so as to get a better look at your cat’s skin. Remember that ticks like to attach in hidden areas of skin, so be attentive to your cat’s toes, armpits and the groin area. Ticks can typically appear dark on skin. Once they attach to skin, they won’t move around, so they won’t run away from you when your hands get close to it. Ticks can also become larger as they feed, thus making them easier to see.
  4. Grab the tick. Part the skin well especially where the tick is located and then grab the tick with your tick-removal instrument. It is crucial to grab the tick in right place. Grab the tick where the head and the neck attach to each other.
  • It is easier to have another person hold the cat for you and while you get rid of the tick. If another person is not available to assist you, then consider taking your cat to your veterinarian so that they may get rid of the tick.
  • Although tempting, do not try to squeeze the tick. If you squeeze tightly, you may make the tick to release more toxin into your cat’s system.
  1. Remove the tick from skin. Do the process by slowly and firmly pulling the tick straight up and out of the skin. Do not twist the tweezers as you get rid of ticks on cats, as this might make the body of the tick detach from the head, thus leaving the head embedded in the skin. If you accidentally twist the tweezers and the tick’s head remains embedded in the skin, consider taking your cat to your veterinarian if you cannot get rid of the head on your own. Do not leave the head embedded in the skin.

After Removing the Tick

  1. Place the tick in the jar of rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol can kill the tick. Do not try to flush the tick down the toilet, as this might not kill the ticks on cats.
  2. Clean the skin where you removed the tick. Gently use the rubbing alcohol to the area, which is then followed by the cat-safe triple antibiotic ointment to skin. This can assist to prevent infection at the area of skin where you removed the tick. Because rubbing alcohol might be very much irritating to skin, dampen a cotton ball using alcohol and then gently dab the skin using the cotton ball.
  3. Remove your gloves and wash hands. After you get rid of one of your gloves, grab the other one at the wrist so as to avoid touching the area on the glove which touched the cat’s skin.
  4. Monitor the area of affected skin. Even if the skin is not infected, it will likely be irritated for up to many weeks after the tick removal process. If the skin appears red and irritated, use a Q-tip to apply a small amount of hydrocortisone ointment to affected area. If the skin continues to appear very red and irritated after many days, take your cat to vet. This could be an indication of more serious infection.
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Ticks on Cats in winter

Ticks on cats are capable of surviving in winter temperatures when they find a host to feed on or even a warm location to hide in. Generally, adult ticks can as well be a threat when the temperatures hover below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

For this particular reason, if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors in winter, tick prevention is a good idea. And since most of the medications are usually designed to thwart both fleas and the ticks, it’s a good idea to use preventive medications through the year.

How to Get Rid of Ticks on Cats

Learn how to identify fleas and the ticks, then get rid of them from your pet and home.

Identifying and Killing Ticks on Your Cat

Learn what ticks look like.

Although there are different tick species which have different characteristics, most of the ticks have an oval-shaped body with a very small head. They’re reddish brown, dark brown or gray in color.

Ticks on cats are usually no bigger than 1/4 inch long and some of the species might as well appear much smaller. Note that fully fed females might swell up to 1/2 inch in size when they’re full of host’s blood.

Unlike the fleas, ticks aren’t insects as such. They’re known as arachnids, just like spiders, so the adults have about 8 legs. The younger or even the smallest ticks have 6 legs.

Look for signs of ticks on your cat.

Ticks are not able to jump or fly, so they usually crawl onto the host’s body.

When the tick bites the cat, it can stay attached until it’s done the feeding. You can’t see the tick’s head while feeding, which can make it hard to tell if you’re really looking at a tick or something else. To tell the difference, just look for tick’s legs.

Ticks tend to accumulate in warm, protected areas, such as between the paw pads, in ears, and the armpits. But, they are able to be found anywhere on your cat’s body. If you are not sure if the insect is actually a tick, then you can place it in a sealed plastic bag and then bring it to cat’s veterinarian. Check your cat more closely if she’s been outside where she might have been exposed to the ticks.

Properly get rid of the ticks.

If you see ticks on cats, then make sure that what you have seen are actually ticks. Search for its legs to be sure that it’s a tick and not growth on your cat’s skin. If it is a tick, then put on gloves and then grasp the tick using a fine-tipped tweezers.

Pull back slowly, taking care not to twist hand. You need to get rid of the tick’s head together with the body. If not, the head might lead to an infection. Put the tick in a small container filled with rubbing alcohol to remove and preserve it, in case you want to show it to vet.

You should check your cat every other day for ticks if there’s a tick infestation or your cat’s been exploring some areas where the ticks are living.

Talk with the veterinarian about tick medications

The vet can make sure that you obtain a safe and effective product. You should obtain tick treatments directly from your vet, as some of the medications sold at the pet stores might be very dangerous for the cats.

Topical “spot-on” treatments are usually available to treat the fleas and ticks, while there are no given oral products for treatment of ticks on cats.

Let the vet know if there are small children or even the pregnant women at home. This is a factor in determining the safest medication for both your family and your pet.

Choose a spot-on medication.

You might have many options that are available when it comes to choosing a topical tick treatment. Most of the monthly treatments are to be used year round as a preventative treatment.

Thus make sure that the product which you choose is properly labeled for cats. Cats may get very sick if they are treated with a tick medication which is meant for the dogs. Some of the common tick medications are:

  • Fipronil and (S)-methoprene (called Frontline Plus for Cats): Apply the medication once a month to get rid of the larvae and adult fleas. It as well gets rid of ticks on cats and chewing lice.
  • Selamectin: Apply this at least once a month to get rid of adult fleas and eggs. It can as well kill ticks, heartworms and sarcoptic mites, but it is not licensed as a product to get rid of ticks. It is not effective against Ixodes, which is a species which carries Lyme disease.

Correctly apply the spot-on medication.

Generally, you’ll be required to hold the applicator upright so as to keep it from spilling and then open it according to labeled instructions. Spread the fur on cat’s neck to expose the skin.

This way, your cat won’t be able to lick the medication off while it is grooming. Turn the applicator squeeze all of the medication into one spot directly on the skin. Make sure that you get it on the skin and not the fur. Check the applicator so as to make sure that it’s empty.

Always read the label for instructions, since they are different for each of the medication.

Ask the vet about other tick control options.

Your vet might recommend other options that are available to keep ticks on cats off.

One popular option is the Seresto collar. This collar might be used on the kittens who are older than 12 weeks and adult cats. It repels and kills ticks for up to 9 months.

Other brands of tick collar are available. You should ensure that you consult with your veterinarian so as to see the one that is recommended for your cat.

Home Remedies for Ticks on Cats

1. Flea and ticks Comb

This is similar to flea comb for dogs, and while some of the cats may find the scent of the citrus unappealing, the way this is prepared is able to lessen the intensity of smell to sensitive noses because you don’t use the straight lemon juice.

Fleas and ticks don’t like the smell of lemon, and it appears to assist deter them.

Combining lemon with a flea comb can be either a very regular comb, although the super fine toothed ones that are sold in stores are usually optimum – that is does twice as good. You get the ticks out using the comb, while leaving a lingering scent of lemon which can keep them from returning.

You will require:

A fine-toothed comb or flea comb

  • 3 lemons
  • 3 cups of water
  • A spray bottle
  • A pot

Pour about 3 cups of water into a clean pot and then add in about 4 lemons that have already been chopped up. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then remove from heat before letting the lemons steep in water for 5 hours.

After it is done steeping, you should then strain the lemons and particles from a liquid, pour into a spray bottle. Lightly mist your cat and go through the fur using the comb. Alternatively, you can pour the liquid into a bowl and soak your flea comb directly in solution and then go over the cat.

Do the process at least thrice a day. You can mist the bedding if they don’t appear to mind the smell. Remember that if the cat appears to think the lemon has an unpleasant smell, try something else that is different. You wouldn’t want to live while you are covered in a smell that you didn’t like either.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Bath or Spray

If you want to chomp onto something which smells overwhelmingly foul? The same thing is true of fleas and apple cider vinegar.

Using this during a bath or even as a spray do not change the internal pH levels of cats. This is a perfect way that can be used to naturally get rid of ticks on cats, especially on kittens.

You will require

  • A spray bottle
  • Many cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Some mild shampoo

Fill a spray bottle with some amount of apple cider vinegar, apply it directly to the coat, and then leave on. Alternatively, you may bathe the cat, either with just the vinegar and shampoo mixed together.

If you are making use of just ACV spray, then a generous amount onto fur and let it sit on your cat for a period of 15 minutes before rinsing it off and following the bath with a tick comb. Work the shampoo blend into the fur of the cats and let it sit for 10 minutes, rinsing out thoroughly and then follow treatment with a tick comb.

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If the cat cannot tolerate a bath, then use the spray bottle option, or even gently pour some cups of water of it instead of in standing water (submersion might make the experience to be scarier to your cat.)

Ticks on Cats Treatment

Check your cat for ticks. If any is found, then the first step is by use of an insecticide to get rid of the fleas and ticks. There are several products that can speedily get rid of fleas and ticks on cats. They are insecticidal shampoos, topical sprays and systemic insecticides that are given orally.

All are very much effective but they get rid of the pests on your pet at a period that they are treated or for short periods after treatment.

Make sure that you ask your veterinarian for a recommendation of a treatment that gets rid of existing fleas and ticks on cats. Be very sure to follow labeled instructions and do not use a product on cats which is not labeled for them.

How to Prevent Ticks on Cats

So, what else can you do so as to keep your cat tick-free this season? Here are a few recommendations to consider;

1. Spot-on Treatments

While the medications are perfect, you still require being careful about which one of them that can be used. Make sure that you read all the given labels carefully.

If you have any doubts about a certain treatment for ticks on cats especially with a spot-on, be certain to get advice from a veterinarian before application.

2. Oral Medications

You will require talking to a veterinarian about whether your cat can safely use a product which is designed for a small dog.

Some of the importance of using a-once-a-month pill is that you won’t concerned about the small children and coming into contact with the cat after application, or with the cat that is leaving traces of the pesticide on furniture, as you can with spot-on treatments.

3. Shampoos

Bathing cats with a shampoo that have medicated ingredients can get rid of ticks on cats on contact. This might be an inexpensive method of protecting your cat during the peak tick season.

You will also require repeating the process often, about every three weeks, as effective ingredients won’t last much as long as a spot-on or even the oral medication. Depending on how your cat responds to the baths, this might or might not be a very practical solution.


Cat Tick Bite Symptoms

Cat tick bite symptoms can vary depending upon several factors. Often there will be no symptoms and no reason to suspect that a tick bite was ever present. Occasionally, local irritation will occur including redness, itching or possible pain near the bite. Tick-borne illnesses and disease can cause symptoms, as can reactions to a tick’s saliva. There are many different types of ticks and some of these carry toxins and other types of organisms that can threaten your cat’s life. Symptoms of tick-borne illnesses may not show up until days or weeks after the bite. For this reason, it’s especially important to know about tick bite symptoms in cats.

Lyme Disease Caused by Tick Bites

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria carried by certain ticks. Most infections are caused by the brown deer tick, and the disease is transmitted after the tick burrows into the cat’s skin. Research suggests that it takes 10 to 12 hours for the disease to transmit from the tick to the cat, so ticks should be removed as soon as they’re spotted. If symptoms such as loss of appetite, fever or fatigue begin to manifest, especially after discovery or removal of a tick, Lyme disease may be a possibility. Cats may also experience stiff joints or sudden collapse when infected with this bacteria.

Ticks Can Cause Rabbit Fever in Cats

While rabbit fever, or tularemia, is more common in rabbits and rodents, it can affect cats as well. Ticks carrying one of two types of a bacteria called Francisella tularensis can cause infection. Tularemia is spread through tick bites, or when a cat eats an infected rodent. Kittens are more susceptible, but cats of any age are at risk. If this infection is caused by a tick bite, cats may experience abscesses at the site of the bite. Enlarged lymph nodes and high fever can show up quickly after infection. In about a week’s time, discharge may be seen coming from the nose and eyes. Cats may also develop a rash. If left untreated, abscesses can begin to develop internally as well. A blood test can determine the existence of tularemia and it can be treated with antibiotics.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Cats

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can affect any organ in a cat’s body. This disease is transmitted within 5 to 20 hours by a tick bite. Symptoms of this infection are similar to those of other tick-borne illnesses, including fever, decreased appetite and swollen or painful joints. RMSF can also cause uveitis or hemorrhages under the skin.

Other Tick-Borne Illnesses in Cats

There are many other illnesses that are transmitted through tick bites and can affect your cat’s health. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Feline babesiosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Southern tick-associated rash illness
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Powassan encephalitis

Most display similar general symptoms. If your cat experiences any of these symptoms, or begins to act abnormally after recently having been bitten by a tick, it’s recommended to take action quickly to determine if infection is present.


A Closer Look at the Different Types of Ticks

Ticks come in many different varieties that not only look different, but also live in different regions and environments, and can transmit different types of diseases to both people and animals.

The purpose of this article is to provide some basic information about ticks, as well as key details about the various species that you are most likely to encounter in different regions of the United States. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been bitten by a tick of any kind, try to keep it as intact as possible so you can have it tested. Place it in a secure container so it can be evaluated by your healthcare provider, veterinarian, or local vector control for identification.

What Are Ticks?

Ticks belong to a group of animals called arthropods. Like spiders, they fall under the classification of arachnids—a specific type of arthropod with eight legs. Unlike spiders, however, ticks feed on blood from mammals—including people, pets and livestock—as well as birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They have been reported in rural and urban environments around the world, but are most often found in grassy or wooded areas and are typically most active from spring through fall.

In general, ticks can be divided into two main families: hard ticks (Ixodidae) and soft ticks (Argasidae).

HARD TICKS (IXODIDAE) Hard ticks all share the distinguishing trait of a hard outer shield or black plate, known as a scutum.

SOFT TICKS (ARGASIDAE) Soft ticks do not have a scutum but instead have more rounded bodies.

Both of these families of ticks have species that can transmit diseases to humans; however, the typical length of time required to do so differs just like their feeding habits. Certain hard ticks that carry Lyme disease, for example, typically must be attached for 36 to 48 hours to infect a host, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Certain soft ticks that transmit Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF), however, feed very quickly and can cause disease in humans.

What is the Typical Lifecycle of a Tick?

Ticks generally have four stages of life: egg, larvae, nymph and adult.

Eggs, which can number into the thousands, are laid by the female tick. These eggs hatch into larvae, which are also known as “seed ticks.” The larvae typically attach to smaller animals, such as mice and birds.

After several days of feeding, the larvae develop into nymphs, which can then attach to larger hosts and then ultimately turn into adult ticks. Most tick-borne diseases are transmitted by nymphs, which are so small that hosts often don’t see them.

Ticks advance through each of these stages by molting, a process during which they shed their outer skin.

What to Do After a Tick Bite
If you find a tick on you during a tick check, the most important thing to do is remove it immediately. The longer the tick remains attached to the skin, the higher the chances are that it will transmit a disease.
The CDC recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick by the head and pull up with steady, even pressure. They also recommend avoiding folk remedies like burning matches or petroleum jelly, which can cause the tick to regurgitate more pathogens into the bloodstream. As mentioned, you should try to save the tick for testing if possible.
For more information on what to do after a tick bite, read the Tick Talk blog What to Do After You’ve Been Bitten by a Tick.

How to Treat a Tick Bite
Tick bites are an unfortunate occurrence since, once you’ve been bitten, any potential pathogens have already been transmitted.

However, in addition to removing all ticks, saving them for testing, and watching carefully for symptoms of tick-borne diseases, you can perform basic first aid on the bite. Wash the bite site with warm water and soap, rubbing alcohol, or an iodine scrub. You can also watch the site carefully for any rashes, but remember that rash is only a symptom of some tick-borne diseases, and it doesn’t always occur. Even with Lyme disease, the bull’s eye rash only shows up in some patients.

Image Source: Dr. Christopher Paddock https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=10879

What Types of Ticks Transmit Diseases to Humans?

Of the nearly 900 species of ticks that exist in the world, only a select number bite and transmit disease to humans within the United States. The following descriptions provide key facts about each of these different types of ticks, including what each tick looks like at various stages of the lifecycle, some distinguishing characteristics, regions where they’re typically found, and what kinds of ticks carry Lyme disease and other illnesses that can infect both people and pets.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Eastern Blacklegged Tick:
Unfed female Eastern blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are easily distinguished from other ticks by the orange-red body surrounding the black scutum. Males do not feed. A type of hard tick, deer tick populations tend to be higher in elevation, in wooded and grassy areas where the animals they feed on live and roam, particularly their reproductive host, the white-tailed deer.

Diseases Transmitted by the Eastern Blacklegged Tick:
At both adult and nymph stages, deer ticks can transmit Lyme disease as well as Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, and Powassan disease.

Where the Eastern Blacklegged Tick is Found in the U.S.:
These ticks are primarily distributed in the Northeastern and Upper Midwestern regions of the United States.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Brown Dog Tick:
The brown dog tick is a type of hard tick that is most often found around human dwellings, particularly where dogs reside. Brown dog ticks can cause high levels of infestation both on dogs and in homes, and can spend their entire life cycle indoors.

Diseases Transmitted by the Brown Dog Tick:
At multiple stages of its lifecycle, the brown dog tick can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Rickettsia rickettsii) to both humans and dogs. At both nymphal and adult stages, brown dog ticks can transmit canine Ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis) and canine Babesiosis (Babesia canis vogeli and Babesia gibsoni-like parasites) to dogs.

Where the Brown Dog Tick is Found in the U.S.:
Brown ticks are found throughout the United States, but particularly in Southern states.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Gulf Coast Tick:
The Gulf Coast tick resembles both the American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain wood tick. A type of hard tick, it is typically found in grass prairies and coastal uplands.

Diseases Transmitted by the Gulf Coast Tick:
Adult ticks can transmit Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosi, a form of spotted fever caused by R. parkeri, to humans.

Where the Gulf Coast Tick is Found in the U.S.:
Gulf Coast ticks are primarily found in areas along the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, but reports of the tick have recently occurred further north, in states like Virginia, and west to Oklahoma and Kansas.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Lone Star Tick:
One of the most recognizable ticks, the adult female lone star tick has a very visible white dot (or lone star) in the center of her back. A type of hard tick, the lone star tick is very aggressive and known to pursue a host over long distances.

Diseases Transmitted by the Lone Star Tick:
The nymph and adult females most frequently bite humans and transmit disease, which can include Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Heartland Virus, and STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness).

Where the Lone Start Tick is Found in the U.S.:
Lone star ticks are widely distributed throughout the Southeastern, Eastern and South Central states.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick:
The Rocky Mountain wood tick resembles both the American Dog tick and the Gulf Coast tick, but it is a bit huskier in build with a rounded, thicker body.

Diseases Transmitted by the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick:
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, and Tularemia. The saliva from these ticks contains a neurotoxin that can sometimes cause tick paralysis in both humans and pets; however, the paralysis usually dissipates within 24 to 72 hours after tick removal. 1 https://www.tickencounter.org/tick_identification/rocky_mountain_wood_tick

Where the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick is Found in the U.S.:
The Rocky Mountain wood tick is found throughout the Rocky Mountain states in elevations ranging from 4,000 feet to 10,500 feet..

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Western Blacklegged Tick:
The Western black-legged tick is similar in appearance to the Eastern black-legged tick, or deer tick, and is the only other known species of tick that can transmit Lyme disease. At the nymph stage, this hard tick feeds primarily on small animals but can also attach to and feed on larger hosts, including humans. Adults generally feed on large mammals, including humans.

Diseases Transmitted by the Western Blacklegged Tick:
The nymph and adult females are most likely to bite humans and transmit disease, which can include Anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, and Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF).

Where the Western Blacklegged Tick is Found in the U.S.:
Western blacklegged ticks are located along the Pacific Coast, particularly in Northern California. But they have also been found inland to eastern Oregon, western Utah, and Arizona.

Distinguishing Characteristics of Soft Ticks:
Unlike hard ticks, soft ticks don’t wait for hosts to come by in grassy or wooded areas; instead, they tend to live in rodent burrows and feed on a host while the host sleeps. People usually come into contact with these ticks when sleeping in rodent-infested cabins. Because the bites are painless and the ticks feed quickly (usually in less than an hour), most people are unaware that they have been bitten.

Diseases Transmitted by Soft Ticks:
Certain soft ticks can transmit Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (Borrelia hermsii, B. parkerii, or B. turicatae) to humans and pets. TBRF is spread by multiple soft-tick species. Ornithodoros hermsi is responsible for most cases in the United States. The two other U.S. tick species known to transmit the disease are Ornithodoros parkeri and O. turicata.

Where Soft Ticks Are Found in the U.S.:
O. hermsi tends to be found in coniferous forests at higher altitudes, ranging from 1,500 to 8,000 feet. O. parkeri and O. turicata are generally found at lower altitudes in the Southwest, including in caves and the burrows of ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and burrowing owls.

Number of reported cases of TBRF in the United States from 1990 to 2011. One dot was placed randomly in the county of exposure where known, and shading indicates those states where TBRF was reportable. This map does not reflect recent reported cases of TBRF that are caused by B. miyamotoi. 2 https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/tickbornediseases/soft-tick.html

These days, ticks are more than just an annoyance. One bite can make you sick, even change your life. Taking protective measures is important in order to prevent a tick bite. Reducing tick abundance in your yard, wearing protective clothing, and scanning your body for ticks are all great actions for preventing tick bites. Fortunately, the best way to prevent bites remains the same: Know your ticks and how to avoid them. Here are the most common ticks in the United States.


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