What kind of tick is this

Asked May 17, 2020, 2:13 PM EDT

After an outing yesterday, I discovered that I brought some ticks home with me. Can you tell me what type this is? Does it spread Lyme disease? Anything else important?

Genesee County Michigan

1 Response

This is an american dog tick.

The American dog tick is the most commonly found tick in Michigan and can be distinguished from deer ticks by the presence of white markings on the back. Dog ticks do not transmit Lyme Disease. Their bites rarely result in serious disease in Michigan, but like other wood ticks, dog ticks are a known carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. The cases of Rock Mountain Spotted Fever reported in Michigan have been from primarily southern counties, particularly those located directly north of the Toledo Airport. Also, toxins injected with their bites cause itching, fever and in some cases tick paralysis. Be on the alert for any rash, fever or muscle ache that develops after any tick bite as these can be primary symptoms of tick borne disease. Keep in mind that ticks cannot feed immediately after attaching. They require several hours to imbed their mouthparts deep enough to take a bloodmeal.

The MI Dept of Health and Human Services has a nice tick identification guide should you find another tick and are interested to try and identify before submitting a photo: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/5commonticks_282020_7.pdf