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American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

The American Dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, is a three-host tick – each developmental stage feeds on a different host. The female feeds for 7 to 10 days, drops to the ground, and after several days lays 4,000-6,500 ellipsoidal eggs over a 14-32 day period and then dies.

This species is the most common vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), which the tick can transmit after only 5-20 hours of feeding. It can also transmit tularemia (hunter's disease).
Apparently, it plays no significant role in the transmission of Lyme disease and babesiosis.

Further information

  • Anonym.: Tick information sheet. The American Dog tick. Dermacentor variabilis. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1991, 21, 45-7

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