THE AMERICAN DOG TICK (WOOD TICK)
First of all, this particular tick is found throughout the southeastern region, including Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina. Wooded areas of southern North America are a common place to find the dog tick. Due to the Appalachian Mountains, more commonly known as the Smoky Mountains, these highly wooded areas are home to this specific wood tick. The regions east of the mountain range, specifically Tennessee, have been known to house this tick species.
An interesting fact about the female dog tick is that this adult gender of the dog tick lays uninfected eggs. The eggs hatch uninfected larva. Larva is what commonly feeds on mammals such as humans and other larger animals.
The dog tick in Tennessee is commonly known as the American dog tick or wood tick. It’s technical name is Dermacentor variabilis.
DISEASES CARRIED BY THE DOG TICK
In addition, this species of tick is known to carry the well-known disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Due to the species, the dog tick spreads diseases when it sucks blood from the host. If a host is bitten and blood is transferred from the tick bite, it can take several days for the host to experience symptoms. Symptoms of this well known tick disease consists of a rash type appearance around the flesh bite area. Also, the rash begins to appear around the wrist and ankles of the infected host. Finally, the symptoms begin to show in areas of the rest of the body within the first 2 days to up to 5 days.
Furthermore, a dog tick bite does not automatically transfer diseases. Before the dog tick is capable of transferring disease to the host, it has to be clenched to the host for at least a few hours. Rickettsia rickettsii is the bacteria responsible for the disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In order for the transmission of the bacteria responsible for this disease to take place, the tick has to be attached for at least 2 hours. For other diseases, it can take up to 6 to 8 hours of being clamped to the host flesh.
Most noteworthy, the host of this terrible disease will experience fever like symptoms. Beginning with fever chills and body aches, the host will detect the disease’s presence and would be advised to consult the most nearest doctor regarding the bite.
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