The American Dog Tick

(Dermacentor variabilis)

The American dog tick feeds on small animals such as rats and mice in its early stages, but adults are attracted to larger animals. Despite its name, the American dog tick is also a threat to humans because of the pathogens it carries. This tick can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Tularemia to its human hosts, causing serious illness.

The American Dog Tick can be distinguished by its decorated dorsal shield. The abdomen features festoons around its edge.

This tick makes its home between the East Coast and the Rocky Mountains. It is also found along the West Coast, mostly keeping to California. It prefers wooded, grassy, or brushy areas

The Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania is able to detect the most common tick-borne diseases in any of these species. Our tick DNA tests are over 99.9% accurate.





Associated Diseases


Tularemia is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that responds to early ... Learn More


Human monocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by a tick-borne bacteria that attacks ... Learn More

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii... Learn More