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Tick, Tick, Tick Part 1 – Types and Locations in North America

- July 31, 2017 by Mike Pettit (View all posts by Mike)

Welcome to the first edition of our Tick, Tick, Tick blog series. Outdoor workers face a slew of hazards on the job. Beyond severe weather and extreme temperatures, an additional concern may be present: ticks. According to NIOSH, ticks may be infected with bacteria, parasites and viruses, and can pass certain pathogens to humans. Common tick-borne illnesses include Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

This blog will identify the geographic distribution of ticks and their respective information to help you stay safe.  For photos of the different ticks, check out the Center for Disease Control’s website

Type / Common Name

Locations Found

Associated, Most Common Disease(s)


American Dog Tick

East of Rocky Mountains, Limited Areas of Pacific Coast Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia Highest risks during spring and summer
Blacklegged Tick

NE, SE, and Upper Midwestern states Lyme Disease Highest risks during spring, summer, and fall, also during winter when temperatures are above freezing
Brown Dog Tick

Worldwide Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the SE and along the U.S.-Mexico border Dogs are the primary host, but may also bite humans
Gulf Coast Tick

Coastal areas of the U.S. along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Rickettsia parkeri (RP – a form of spotted fever) Mainly feed on deer and other wildlife, but have transmitted RP to humans
Lone Star Tick

SE and Eastern U.S. Tularemia, STARI Very aggressive, distinguished by a white dot or “lone star”
Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

Rocky Mountain states, SW Canada (at elevations of 4,000- to 10,500-feet) Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Tularemia Primarily feed on large mammals, but are associated with pathogen transmission to humans
Western Blacklegged Tick

Along the Pacific Coast of the U.S., particularly in northern CA Lyme Disease Typically feed on lizards and small animals, rates of infection among humans is low (~1%)

Stay tuned for our next blog where we’ll discuss how avoid ticks.

Reference – The above information was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov)