Types Of Ticks In Hawaii

In the continental United States, there are several tick species that can be dangerous to humans and pets. The most common ticks are Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum), American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), deer ticks (Ixodes sp.), brown dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), and Rocky Mountain wood ticks (Dermacentor andersoni), with several more tick species with limited propagation. Fortunately, here in Hawaii, we have only one tick species that is considered endemic. It is the brown dog tick. Here's what you need to know.

Brown Dog Tick

Rhipicephalus sanguineus

As its name suggests, the brown dog tick is brown, with a slightly reddish tint. But, when it is discovered, it is often after it has become engorged. A tick that has had a blood meal will be three times larger than its normal 3mm length, and its abdomen will be bloated and gray-blue. This leads to some confusion for those who don't understand this. It can seem as if an unengorged tick is a baby tick and the engorged is a full adult. But baby ticks (referred to as larvae) are actually much smaller than unengorged adults, and have only six legs.

Brown dog ticks prefer canines as their hosts, but they can hop on any small or mid-sized animal and establish themselves. This is how they get into our yards and leave their eggs to hatch. That is why it is important to reduce attractants on your property that draw wildlife in.

Studies have shown that dogs are required for this tick species to grow a large population.

This tick species rarely bites humans, but they can if an infestation is large enough. They will also turn to biting humans if their primary host animal--dogs--are removed. So, keep this in mind. Sending you animals away will not solve a brown dog tick infestation.

If you are getting bitten, there are a few things you can do to prevent bites:

  • Spray repellent on your socks and pant legs. This will deter these ticks from climbing up from your rug as you walk around.

  • Clean all your carpets with hot soapy water.

  • Clean your pet's bedding with hot soapy water.

  • If the infestation is bad, clean all bedding and furniture in your home with hot water or hot steam.

The brown dog tick is the most widespread tick pest in the United States. It can be found in 49 of the 50 states, Alaska being the only state excluded. The large distribution of this tick species, and its ability to establish itself in states with cold climates, is attributed to the fact that it is the only tick species that is able to complete its entire life cycle inside human structures. That makes this a frustrating pest to deal with, especially if you have pets.

Diseases linked to brown dog ticks are: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, canine babesia.

Before brown dog ticks get into your home, they will ride on your pet. It is important for your veterinarian to prescribe products to make your pet less attractive to these ticks. There is a wide variety of powders, topicals, and collars.

If you have an infestation of brown dog ticks in your home, be aware that the brown dog tick is known for growing a population extremely quickly once it establishes itself. It is imperative that you seek assistance from an educated and certified professional if you want fast relief from these biting pests.

Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions is an expert in pest control. Our team of pest specialists administer the most advanced protocols in the industry and only use EPA-registered insecticides as a last resort. You can always expect a safe and effective resolution to your pest problems when you call Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions.

Reach out to us today for immediate assistance. We provide service Pearl City, Honolulu, Mokuleia, and throughout Oahu and parts of Big Island.