Ticks in Upstate New York

Ticks in Upstate New York

There are various types of ticks in New York, found throughout the state. You can find blacklegged ticks in the Bronx and Staten Island. According to stats, more people are affected by Lyme disease than in other areas in New York. You can find different types of ticks like brown dog ticks, deer ticks, etc., in the grassy and the wooden regions with moist climates in New York. This blog provides you with entire information regarding the type of ticks in Upstate New York and how to prevent them.

Ticks in New York

Brown dog ticks:

The brown dog tick, Scientifically known as Rhipicephalus sanguineus, has multiple other names such as kennel tick or pantropical dog tick. The brown dog tick can survive in warmer climates. These ticks can survive best in areas with tall grass, fields to first transitional zones, and wooded regions. They require a high humid climate as they absorb water from the air. These ticks, unlike most ticks, can survive and complete life cycles inside homes. It is important to check yourself and your dogs for these ticks. 

How do they look?

The kennel ticks are reddish-brown in color. They measure up to 3.18 mm in length. The females, after feeding, may enlarge and become larger multiple times their actual size. 

The brown dog ticks can be a host of many disease-causing agents are as follows:

  • Babesia vogeli
  • Ehrlichia canis
  • Babesia canis
  • Hepatozoon canis
  • Rickettsia rickettsii
  • Coxiella burnetii
  • Wolbachia spp
  • Rickettsia conorii
  • Mycoplasma haemocanis

Some of the diseases which are caused by the above pathogens are:

  • Ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis) 
  • Canine babesiosis (Babesia canis) 
  • Canine ehrlichiosis 
  • Babesiosis  
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by Rickettsia rickettsii,  
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever 

Feeding:

The brown dog tick feeds before moving to the next stage. The larvae feed on a host after coming out of the eggs. They feed on blood for 5 to 15 days. The nymphs feed for 3 to 13 days. After the blood meal, the nymphs may molt to become an adult brown dog tick. The adult females and males feed before mating. 

Hosts: 

By their name itself, one may understand that these ticks prefer dogs as hosts. The brown dog ticks prefer to consume blood from dogs in the areas behind their ears, between the toes or legs, etc. 

Lone star ticks

Lone star ticks are, scientifically known as the Amblyomma americanum, also have common names such as Northeastern water tick, cricket tick, or turkey ticks. These are found in various parts of Upstate New York. 

Description:

Male and female lone Star ticks are different from one another, called sexually dimorphic. Females can be identified by their white star-like spot on the middle of their scutum. The males have small white dots on the margins of their backs. They are reddish-brown in color. The females can be found 4 mm -6 mm in size. These ticks are oval in shape. They are flat while unfed, but after a blood meal, they may get engorged. 

Diseases:

These ticks can spread the following pathogens which cause diseases such as:

Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii (both cause human ehrlichiosis), STARI and, tularemia. They can also cause the alpha-gal syndrome, which causes the Mammalian Meat Allergy. This is a syndrome that may be deadly at times. It is important to consult a doctor if any symptoms arise. 

Life cycle of Lone Star ticks:

The brown ticks have four phases as part of their life cycle. This includes eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. The adult ticks are active during the months of late spring and early summer. These ticks are three-host ticks, and so they require a blood meal at every stage of their life cycle. They live near creeks, rivers, where there are shrubs, uncut grass, or even where there are wooded regions. 

Blacklegged ticks

The blacklegged ticks, also known as the deer ticks, are scientifically known as the Ixodes scapularis. These ticks are capable of spreading the Lyme disease bacteria Borrelia. These ticks leave a rash known as etherna migrans Or bull’s eye if they carry the Borrelia bacterium. This is a prime symptom of Lyme disease. The statistics state that about 70 to 80 percent of Lyme disease patients may see the appearance of the rash on their skin. 

Immediate treatment is required to avoid any long term effects, which includes:

  • Short term memory loss, 
  • Arthritis
  • Lyme carditis 

Early removal can mitigate the occurrence of the disease as it takes 36 to 48 hours of biting for the tick to spread the disease to the host. 

Life cycle:

Like all ticks, these ticks go through the four stages of their life cycle. According to studies, the nymph is most likely to spread the Lyme disease bacterium. 

As they are hard to detect, they can carry the pathogen. Whereas the adult stages can spread the bacteria, the chances are quite low as they can be detected as they are quite big. 

They are active during late spring and early summer. 

Description:

They are an orangish-brown color while unfed. They are bluish-green after feeding. The female ticks are ⅛ inch in size while males are 1/16 inch. Like all ticks, the nymphs, which everyone should look out for, have six legs while the adults have eight legs. 

Other diseases they may spread are:

  • Anaplasmosis.
  • Ehrlichiosis.
  • Babesiosis.
  • Powassan virus disease.
  • Borrelia miyamotoi disease.

American dog ticks:

American dog ticks are also known as wood ticks. These ticks are brown in color and have white or gray markings on their body. They can grow from 5 mm to 15 mm in length. The females are bigger than the males. The females tend to get bigger in size after feeding. 

Disease transmission:

  • Tick paralysis
  • Tularemia 
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Feeding habits:

The American dog ticks find hosts using the scent of the animals. They tend to prefer large mammals, including humans. So they are likely to be found on the side of roads. 

These ticks are present in shrubs and grass. These ticks may feed on large mammals such as dogs, humans, etc. 

The dogs are likely to bring this to the homes of humans and hence transfer it to them. They may survive without a meal for 2 to 3 years. 

Preventing Tick Bites in Upstate New York

  1. Avoid contact with soil and leaf litter in tick-infested areas.
  2. Prefer wearing light-colored clothing with tight weaves that might help you spot the tick.
  3. Cover your clothes fully and prevent body contact with ticks. Tuck your pants, wear full sleeves and button them while trekking or during mountain camps.
  4. Use skin-friendly insect repellents while you are traveling through tick-infested areas.
  5. Avoid sitting directly on the stone walls or the floor.
  6. Have a tick-checklist as a handy before your outdoor adventure.

Conclusive words

Ticks are prevalent all over New York, and it is best recommended to keep yourself away from ticks. Many preventive measures are available, which they can follow. Microbiologists and Immunologists are working to come up with vaccines for tick-borne diseases. But it is important to prevent tick bites by taking certain precautions. If ticks bite you, use appropriate tick removal measures to ensure there is no contraction of diseases. If symptoms of any disease occur, it is crucial to meet a medical practitioner. 

Check your pets regularly for ticks to keep them away from tick-infected diseases.