Tick question! We recently came back from a trip to Delaware State Park with...

Asked April 27, 2017, 1:05 PM EDT

Tick question! We recently came back from a trip to Delaware State Park with our dogs and all of us were covered in American dog ticks. Forgot to use repellent -- dumb I know. We've treated the dogs and do daily tick checks but I'm wondering what else we can do indoors, since we keep finding them here and there inside the house. I've read they can survive up to two years without feeding! Can you advise? Help!

Franklin County Ohio

1 Response

Yes, the image is of a female American dog tick. While this tick can carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the risk is pretty low. The second important thing to know is that this tick doesn't normally transmit the disease until it has been attached for about 24 hours. So, keep up the tick checks and remove any that you might find attached as soon as possible. The dogs should receive regular flea, tick and heartworm medicine as prescribed by a vet. Since you've treated the dogs, the ticks can detect the miticide within their blood and will then drop off to search for another animal. American dog tick adults can live for about 6-8 months after molting into the adult form, not two years. They don't do well inside homes where it is dry. They need regular moisture from rain and dew to keep hydrated while they are looking for a host. We have two little dogs, but our back yard faces a city park and the pups are always picking up a tick and dropping it off inside the house because the dogs are regularly treated! Such fun in the spring and early summer!