The different tick species include ticks that are generally identified by their coloring as well as sometimes by distinctive markings on their bodies. Ticks can also be named for the animals on which they frequently feed; an example is the deer tick. Various other species of ticks include the black tick and the brown dog tick. Tick identification is an important factor in determining the best methods for removing feeding ticks from both animals and humans. Knowledge of different tick species can also help medical professionals decide if a tick host has any risk of contracting a disease that some ticks are known to transmit.
Brown dog ticks are one of the most common tick species that are frequently found in dog kennels and other areas of homes that are warm and dark such as the undersides of rugs and the cracks of walls. This tick feeds primarily on dogs and is rarely found on humans; it most often attaches itself to the creases of a dog's ears or the crevices between its toes. Brown dog ticks have naturally migrated over time to a wide variety of geographic regions and climates, although they are native to tropical regions and often do not survive cold winters.
Black ticks can sometimes carry higher risks for humans and animals since this tick species is often known for transmitting Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can lead to serious complications if left untreated. These types of ticks are able to draw their nutrition from both warm- and cold-blooded animals; they are also able to wait in the same outdoor spot for long periods of time before a host comes along. After a black tick has fed uninterrupted on a host for several hours, it can become engorged to the point where its abdominal sack turns white in color due to stretching and creates the appearance of a white tick.
Other common types of ticks include the lone star tick and the rocky mountain tick; these two types are generally prevalent in certain mountainous areas of the eastern and southeastern United States. The lone star tick gets its name from a star-shaped pattern on its protective external shell. While this tick species generally does not carry Lyme disease, a bite from one can still cause noticeable skin rashes in some individuals. The rocky mountain tick is similar in appearance to the brown dog tick, and it is a known carrier of another type of infection called Rocky Mountain spotted fever.