There are various ticks in Kansas. The ticks in Kansas look for hosts between March to September. Most tick species may hatch in early spring and targets smaller hosts like mice and rats. By the summer, the ticks would have reached the adult stage enough to quest for humans, dogs, and other pet animals. There are both soft and hard ticks in Kansas. Hard ticks or Ixodidae are ticks that have a shield or scutum on their backs. The soft ticks do not possess the scutum.
You can find ticks in Kansas mainly in the forest zones, woods, leaf litter, shrublands, and open fields. There are some unique tick species that you can find in Kansas. This blog discusses those prominent ticks in Kansas and preventive measures to help you avoid tick infections and tick-borne diseases.
Types of Ticks in Kansas City
Spinose Ear Ticks:
Spinose ticks can live in arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. You can find a higher population of spinose ear ticks in the southwestern parts of North America. They are one host ticks who prefer animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs. They feed inside the ears of the ticks. You can find those ticks in the dry regions, even in the cracks and crevices of rocks and rock materials.
The capitulum is not visible on the top but on the bottom. It is hard to note their presence unless you notice bleeding inside the ears of the hosts. This may cause ulceration inside the ears. The spinose ear ticks can survive without a host for two months.
Brown Dog Ticks:
Brown dog ticks are reddish-brown. These ticks are three-host ticks that can quest on to humans, dogs, and cats. So, if suspicion arises of tick infestation, it is significant to check for brown dog ticks and remove them. If you have any cracks or crevices in your household area, it is adequate to check for ticks and spray pesticides regularly or periodically.
This is because brown dog ticks may lay eggs inside those spaces. As the name suggests, brown dog ticks mostly prefer dogs and other mammals such as cows, goats, buffaloes, etc. Brown dog ticks with the mammals might be the transmitters of Ehrlichia canis (canine ehrlichiosis) and with outbreaks of Ehrlichia canis (canine ehrlichiosis) and Babesia canis.
Blacklegged ticks are also known as deer ticks. They are reddish-brown. The white-tailed deer is the primary host of these ticks. They have orange-brown posterior and white markings on their backs. The adults of these ticks may start feeding during spring, but they are active from September to December. Blacklegged ticks survive on dogs and raccoons in their earlier stages. They transmit diseases such as Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (human granulocytic ehrlichiosis), etc.
Lone Star Ticks:
You can find lone star ticks in the central, eastern, and south-eastern parts of Kansas City. Amblyomma Americanum is the scientific name for Lone Star Ticks. Lone star ticks have a star-like mark on their backs. Significantly, the females have a white spot on their backs, distinguishing them from other tick types. You can find a dark striation pattern in the body of the male lone star ticks. They may get fully engorged after feeding.
Lone star ticks are pale-red and can grow from 2mm to 5mm. Being relatively equal in skin color and smaller size, detecting lone star ticks becomes challenging. They are very active from April to September and can be found in dense regions, shrublands, and open fields. They may cause diseases like STARI, Tulemaria, and Ehrlichiosis.
Preventing Ticks in Kansas City
You can avoid tick infections and tick-borne diseases in Kansas by using several tried and tested prevention methods. Some of the standard measures are discussed below.
- Always wear long pants and sleeves and tuck them in to prevent tick bites.
- Once your outdoor adventure is done, use DEET or other repellents to check yourself and your clothing for ticks.
- Be aware of where ticks live and avoid visiting those areas unless there is a staunch necessity.
- Ensure you know about taking necessary tick precautions before your outdoor adventure to dense forests or shrublands.
The tick population is rising all over the United States, and Kansas City is no exception. The best we can do is adhere to the government regulations and preventive measures and keep your household clean to prevent tick infections and diseases. Follow our precautionary tick guidelines before your outdoor journey. Stay away from ticks and stay healthy and happy.