Common Names: American dog tick, wood tick
The American dog tick is a rather colorful tick, typically brown to reddish-brown in color with gray/silver markings on their scutum. Adult males and females are active April- early August, and are mostly found questing in tall grass and low lying brush and twigs. It is significantly larger than the Lyme disease transmitting deer tick.
Edible Notes: Not edible.
Warnings: Known to carry bacteria responsible for several diseases in humans, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Though D. variabilis may be exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, these ticks are not competent vectors for the transmission of this disease. The primary vector for Borrelia burgdorferi is the deer tick. Dermacentor ticks may also induce tick paralysis by elaboration of a neurotoxin that induces rapidly progressive flaccid quadriparesis similar to Guillain–Barré syndrome. The neurotoxin prevents presynaptic release of acetylcholine from neuromuscular junctions.
In most cases however, dog ticks are not generally considered more than a nuisance in Connecticut and complications and infections from a bite are relatively rare.