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The Most Commonly Encountered Ticks In Arizona

The Most Commonly Encountered Ticks In Arizona

Ticks are a major public health threat in some parts of the country, and while Arizona is home to several tick species, some of which spread disease, there are only four species that residents of the state commonly encounter. These tick species include the brown dog tick, the American dog tick, the rocky mountain wood tick, and the adobe tick. Unlike the other three species, the adobe tick is a “soft tick” from the Argasidae family. Of these four ticks, the brown dog tick may be the most dangerous tick to humans due to it ability to live entirely indoors and spread disease to humans. Since ticks have four pairs of legs, they are arachnids, and unlike the arachnids most people encounter in homes and elsewhere, ticks are parasitic organisms that feed on human blood, similar to mites, which are also categorized as arachnids. In order for ticks to survive, they must feed on the blood of their vertebrate hosts, including humans and a variety of other mammals, as well as birds.

Surprisingly, ticks are the most common arthropods that transmit vector-borne diseases in the US. When a tick feeds on a human, it becomes engorged with blood, but they extract all of the water from the blood before injecting it back into the human body. This means that ticks inject about 75 percent of the fluids they gather back into the human bloodstream, allowing them to efficiently transmit a variety of disease-causing organisms into the human body. These disease-causing organisms include bacteria, protozoa, viruses, spirochetes, rickettsiae, nematodes, and toxins. A tick bite can transmit pathogens while also putting a person at risk of developing a secondary infection, and some people are allergic to tick saliva, making them capable of causing serious allergic reactions, and possibly anaphylactic shock.

For residents of Arizona, the brown dog tick poses the greatest threat because this species feeds on dogs, which allows them to hitchhike into homes where they are capable of completing their entire life cycle. Adult brown dog ticks can survive for 18 months, while larvae can survive for eight months without feeding. Once indoors, brown dog ticks eventually detach from the skin of dogs and jump onto walls where they can then jump onto passing humans. Indoor brown dog tick infestations are not uncommon, but they can be prevented by regularly checking pets for ticks, keeping grass cut short, and allowing the sun to shine in shaded parts of a lawn, as ticks avoid sunlight.

Have you ever found a tick on your dog?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Tick-Borne Diseases Are Likely To Increase In America’s Southwest

Tick-Borne Diseases Are Likely To Increase In America’s Southwest

Very few people in America are ignorant of the danger that ticks pose to humans. For the past two decades, Americans have been hearing about public health concerns regarding the increased frequency with which Americans have been falling victim to tick-borne diseases. By now, most people know that populations of disease-carrying ticks are at their highest within the northeastern region of the United States, and it is looking as though ticks may soon gain a comparable foothold over the southeastern region of the US as well. However, many people living in regions that do not see many tick-borne disease cases may consider tick-borne diseases to be unimportant and not worth worrying about. However, studies are showing that ticks are moving into areas that have traditionally remained free from outbreaks of tick-borne disease.

Ticks, of several different species, exist nearly everywhere within the continental US. However, it is only certain regions, namely the northeast, that contain populations of diseased ticks. Most other areas within the US may contain ticks, but the vast majority of them do not carry disease. It is for this reason, and not a lack of tick habitats, that make most of the American population relatively safe from tick-borne diseases. One area that has never seen any significant public health issues stemming from disease-carrying ticks is the southwest US. Unfortunately, this may not be the case for long, as researchers have found that disease carrying ticks are increasing in the southwest, particularly in the state of Arizona.

Researchers have recently gathered a total of 16,000 individual tick specimens from all over the US, including the state of Alaska and the US territory of Puerto Rico. For the very first time in history, researchers have discovered deer ticks within Maricopa and Pinal counties within Arizona. According to researchers, this sudden appearance of ticks in this arid region of the US is due to frequent travel between Arizona and the northeast US where disease-carrying ticks are well represented. In order to prevent tick-borne diseases, such as lyme, from infecting residents of Arizona and elsewhere, travelers must remain mindful of their time spent outdoors in other locations around the US, even if those locations have traditionally been free from disease-carrying tick populations.

Do you believe that lyme-infected deer ticks will eventually gain a foothold in Arizona?