Ticks in Oregon

Ticks in Oregon

Ticks in Oregon thrive in the East of the Cascades and Southern Oregon. They are most common in the lands along Catherine Creek, Rogue River, and Dog Mountain. The Ticks in Oregon are most active in May, June, and July. You can see the ticks active in the moist regions of the above-mentioned areas in the spring and early summer. Both adult and immature ticks can transmit diseases, but they require at least 24 to 48 hours to stick to the host and spread diseases. Are you new to Oregon State? Are you wondering – “Are there ticks in Oregon?” This blog will provide you with valuable information about the types of ticks in Oregon.

Types of Ticks in Oregon

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick: 

The Rocky Mountain Wood tick is part of the Ixodidae family. These ticks use various stimuli to find their hosts, such as carbon dioxide, humidity, light, and temperature. These ticks are reddish-brown or brown. Both the male and female are pear-shaped and flat. The male adult Rocky Mountain Wood tick consumes less than that of their female counterparts. The adult female ticks feed for five to fifteen days. They copulate during feeding. The females then lay their eggs on moist soil. These ticks are vectors of Colorado tick fever, Tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Western Black-legged Tick

The Western Blacklegged tick or Deer Ticks is the most common type of ticks in Oregon and is known for carrying Lyme disease. (Lyme disease has common symptoms such as rash, fever, headache, etc. This treatment involves the usage of antibiotics. But if left without treatment, this disease could have long-term effects on the patient.)

The Western blacklegged ticks are brown and have two brown torsos. They can also spread other diseases; such as Anaplasmosis, human babesiosis, powassan virus, and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis. These ticks are active from April to September. Deer ticks thrive in regions such as thick and tall grass, mammal habitats, and areas with high humidity and moisture.

Deer Ticks In Oregon

How To Identify Deer Ticks In Oregon?

  • Ixodes scapularis or deer tick is an ectoparasite that gets its needed nutrients to survive from animal blood.
  • It can carry various diseases like Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Borrelia miyamotoi, Bartonellosis, and Lyme disease. 
  • In this category, the female deer tick has a reddish-brown body and a black shield on its back. 
  • It has long and thin mouth parts, and there will be no festoons along the abdomen.

Deer Tick-borne Disease in Oregon

  • A study proves that Ixodes pacificus or deer tick has a vital role in spreading Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) in Oregon. Statistics state that these ticks spread Lyme disease to almost 40-50 people in one year.
  • In Oregon, deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) transmit a disease called  Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE).
  • Babesiosis is another life-threatening infection of the red blood cells spread by deer ticks in Oregon.

Where Do We Acquire Deer Tick Diseases in Oregon?

  • Deer ticks love to live in places like moist, shady areas at ground level. 
  • We can see that they cling to bushes, tall grass, and shrubs on the ground level.
  •  They will not stay at a height more than 18-24 inches from the ground. 
  • Lawns, gardens, edges of woods, and corners of old stone walls are some other favorite places of deer ticks. 
  • Deer ticks cannot jump or fly from one place to another to reach humans. These ticks come in contact with humans or animals by direct touching. 
  • Once it gets a host to live, it climbs on the body and lives safely in a protected area.

American Dog Ticks:

American Dog Ticks thrive in various parts of the United States. In Oregon, these ticks are on the rise. The most vulnerable animals to getting bit by these ticks are dogs. But this does not mean that they may not bite humans. These ticks do bite humans, livestock, and horses. The American dog ticks can also spread diseases such as tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They can cause tick paralysis in humans and canines. 

The rocky mountain tick most of the time thrives in grasslands, woods, crevices, and long grass regions. This is why prevention of ticks includes cleaning the yard of the woods and cutting the grass.

Brown Dog Ticks:

These ticks are reddish-brown and they may prefer biting dogs. The females are just ⅛ inch and the male are much smaller. The female brown dog ticks due to feeding engorge much larger in size while the males do not engorge. If you are looking for an infestation of brown dog ticks in your dog look between their toes, legs, and ears, These ticks require warm and dry climates. 

The Brown Dog ticks also survive indoors, which means they can live inside their homes during all phases of the life cycle. The females may lay eggs in the crevices and cracks in the doors, the window frames, etc.

Tick Borne Diseases In Oregon: Symptoms

  • Lyme disease: You may notice fever, bull’s-eye rash, fatigue, malaise, muscle ache, headache, and joint aches in the early stage. If you leave unnoticed, you may experience facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy), multiple rash lesions, joint swelling, chronic arthritis, and numbness in extremities. 
  • HGE:  The symptoms of HGE include chills, fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, nausea, cough, diarrhea, joint pain, confusion, etc.
  • Babesiosis: Fever, sweating, chills,fatigue, and muscle aches are some symptoms of Babesiosis.

Oregon Ticks In Dogs

Your dogs may get ticks when spending some time outside and walking through grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. If an infected tick bites your dog, it infuses the bacterium into the bloodstream. Generally, these ticks hide in secure places in the host body and escape from inspection. And, it is complex to find them if they attach to a region of thick hair.

What do you do when you find ticks on your dog?

  • You should remove it immediately from the dog to avoid adverse effects. 
  • The preferable step to remove the tick from the dog is consulting a doctor. Removing the species in the undamaged condition is essential for further investigation.
  • If you like to remove it, use fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Give some even pressure and steadily pull upward. The mouthparts may break and remain in the skin when you shake.
  • Leaving the tick head or other body parts on the dog causes inflammation and infection. 
  • Washing the entire area is essential to ensure cleanliness.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs in Oregon

Some common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are red skin rash at the bite place, fever, stiffness, lameness, and reluctance to move. When your dog gets a tick bite, the bacterium entering its bloodstream may affect its heart, brain, and kidneys. You cannot see any external signs of this internal damage.

If you find any of these symptoms in your dog, consult your veterinarian. They will perform the diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs based on the tick exposure and various symptoms it exhibits. 

Protect Dogs From Oregon Ticks 

  • Nowadays, we have many options in tick preventive medication for dogs. So use any of them on your dog based on your convenience and time. 
  • Always ensure that yourself and your pets are free from ticks spending time in wooded, tall grass, or brushy areas.
  • If you find any ticks on your dog, remove them as soon as possible.
  • You can also apply some preventive medications to your dog before entering the potentially tick-infested areas with your dog.
  • Always inspect the skin folds areas of your dog. Generally, ticks hide in places like the groin, armpits, ears, and collars.
  • Consult your veterinarian and get suggestions on choosing this product based on all risk factors.
  • You can find some vaccination options for dogs against Lyme disease.

Ticks In Southern Oregon

Oregon has more Lyme disease-causing ticks, and often victims here are dogs and people. Ticks are present in all the areas across Oregon, especially in the east of the Cascades and in Southern Oregon.

Do The Southern Oregon Ticks Cause Lyme Disease In Humans And Animals?

Yes, Of Course!!! Southern Oregon ticks spread Lyme disease to humans and animals. But, we know these ticks should be on a host for 24-48 hours before transmitting Lyme disease. We can avoid this Lyme disease and others by removing it from our bodies within this duration.

Oregon Tick Diseases

  • Around 3% to 8% of Western Blacklegged ticks in Oregon carry the Lyme bacteria and spread to humans and animals in that region.
  • Some other diseases spread by ticks in Oregon include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tick-borne relapsing fever, tularemia, and Colorado Tick Fever.

Lyme disease

Bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi that enters the host through an infected tick’s bite causes Lyme disease. The tick type that spreads this infection is the black-legged tick (or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis). They are common in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, and the North-Central United States. The western black-legged tick or Ixodes pacificus on the West Coast is another tick type that causes Lyme disease.

Symptoms: Some initial symptoms of Lyme disease are headache, fever, fatigue, and a skin rash called erythema migrans. It may also spread to the heart, joints, and the nervous system if we leave it unnoticed.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

American dog tick in the Eastern, Central, and Western United States, Rocky Mountain wood tick in the Rocky Mountain states, and brown dog tick in the Southwestern United States cause Rock Mountain Spotted Fever. This disease may affect our health negatively if not treated within the first five days of noticing symptoms.

Symptoms: Some initial signs of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are headache, fever, nausea, rash, stomach pain, vomiting, lack of appetite, and muscle pain.

Tick-borne Relapsing Fever: 

TBRF is present in states like California, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, Utah, and Wyoming. Ornithodoros ticks are one of the tick species that cause TBRF in the United States. They love to feed on tree squirrels and chipmunks. O. parkeri and O. turicata are some other tick species that cause TBRF.

Symptoms: Some symptoms of TBRF include headache, high fever, joint aches, and muscle pain. You may experience a severe fever for the first few days. Then, the fever goes off, and again it comes. You should consult your doctor if you notice any symptoms like this.


The bacterium Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis) causes tularemia in humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. In the United States, this disease is present in animals like hares, rabbits, squirrels, and some other rodents. Humans and animals get this disease through infected ticks and biting flies.

Symptoms: The signs and symptoms of tularemia include chills, skin or mouth ulcers, muscle aches, diarrhea, joint pain, weakness, cough, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. You can notice the symptoms within 3 to 5 days after exposure to the bacteria. Sometimes, it may appear within one day or take as long as 14 days.

Colorado Tick Fever: 

Rocky Mountain wood tick in the western United States and Canada causes Colorado Tick Fever (CTF), a rare viral disease. You can only reduce the risk of getting CTF by avoiding ticks.

Symptoms: You can notice its symptoms within five days after a tick bite. The symptoms include headache, chills, fatigue, increased sensitivity to light (photophobia), vomiting, nausea, and a lack of appetite. You may also experience severe muscle pain in the legs and back. Fever will rise sharply in the first two or three days and then reduce to return after one or two days. Symptoms in children include severe illness in the central nervous system and acute inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

How To Prevent Ticks in Oregon?

CDC has come up with certain preventive measures to help you prevent yourself from tick bites, tick infections, and of course, tick diseases. Deschutes County has come up with those preventive measures for the state people to prevent tick diseases. Some of the highlighted preventive measures are given below.

  1. Knowledge about where to find ticks
  2. Have a tick checklist before your outdoor adventure.
  3. Treat with 0.5% permethrin.
  4. Use EPA registered insect repellents.
  5. Prevent tick contacts.
  6. Shower immediately after going outdoors.


Ticks live in various parts of Oregon. They thrive next to the river and creeks in Oregon. Tick encounters are minimized by following protective measures such as using repellent creams and protective equipments. Ticks are dangerous in the state of Oregon as they carry multiple diseases. Extermination could be an option if one lives in a tick-prone region. Follow preventive measures as advised by CDC and ask government assistance if something gets serious.