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A single yellow dot on the back of the female Lone Star Tick found in the Southeastern U.S. urges some caution.
Lone Star Ticks are not known to carry the vector for Lyme Disease, but they do harbor other noteworthy bacteria. Humans and dogs bitten by this tick can develop Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and erhlichiosis. These illnesses are treatable and complete recovery is possible if detected early. If a Lone Star Tick is found biting a person or dog, removing them using a pair of tweezers with their head and mouthparts intact is recommended. If a dog has many ticks on it, bringing them to a veterinarian for removal, examination and possible treatment can prevent discomfort and illness from developing.
Lone Star Tick males do not have the spot on them. Both sexes are flat and small when they have not had a bloodmeal. Once engorged with blood, their bodies inflate like balloons and they may look like a completely different insect to some people. Ticks are hardy and can be found in natural areas of every type. They cling to the tip of grass blades, leaves or other low plants, and simply wait for a host to pass by. Their eight legs are like hooks, and they are immediately able stick to hair, fabric, even skin. They will walk to the warmer parts of a host (closer to a blood source) before embedding their heads into the skin and feeding. Check yourself, others, and your pets for roaming ticks after spending time outdoors to help prevent bites. Many times, a quick 'tick check' can find them still walking, and they can be more easily removed.
Scientific Name: Amblyomma americanum
Mite or Tick
Size (Adult; Length): 0.5mm to 5mm (0.02in to 0.20in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.