American Dog Tick

Actual Size: 3.6 mm to 5 mm

Characteristics: Oval shaped bodies. Reddish-brown or dark brown color with white-gray pattern.

Legs: 8

Antennae: No

Habitat: Mainly lives in tall grass and are most frequently found in fields, forests, or near hiking trails.


  • Most active in the spring and summer when the weather warms up.
  • Will bite humans and other animals like dogs, mice, deer, and cattle. 
  • Capable of transmitting diseases like Tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

American Dog Ticks in Anaheim

Though American dog ticks are mainly found east of the Rocky Mountains, they’re also found in a few western states such as California and Washington. These ticks live up to their name and are most frequently found on dogs, though they’ll also feed on larger animals such as humans, cattle, or horses. A single tick bite can transmit potentially harmful diseases to both humans and other animals, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia. American dog ticks can also survive for up to two years without feeding on blood if they cannot find a host.

American Dog Tick Habitat

American dog ticks are most common in wide open areas with plenty of tall grass or foliage. Adult ticks will hide on grass blades, clinging to it with their third pair of legs while waiting for a potential host to pass by. Most people pick them up while walking on hiking trails or residential pathways with lots of weeds and clutter. 

American Dog Tick Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

As with most parasitic pests, American dog ticks can endanger your health or that of your furry friends. Both nymphs and adults are capable of spreading serious diseases. Wearing long pants and putting a dog vest on your pets can reduce your chances of being bitten by a tick, though it’s still important to perform a tick check after spending time outdoors – especially in the summer when these pests are most active. You may also consider wearing an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET to deter American dog ticks from biting you. 

If you keep finding ticks in or around your landscape, enlist the help of your local tick exterminators. They’ll help you keep your garden tick-free so you can enjoy your time outside without constantly worrying about picking up one of these pests.