Adults reach about ¼ inch long.
Dermacentor ticks are flattened top to bottom, and are much wider at the posterior end than the front. There are tiny pits scattered over the top of the body, and color ranges from grayish brown to dark reddish brown.
It is often found in wooded areas where it can find animal hosts such as deer and raccoons.
These ticks feed on the blood of dogs, wild animals, and humans. They are the most common ticks found infesting and biting humans. They do not embed their entire head into a host, only the mouthparts. To keep blood from clotting, the tick injects an anti-clogging agent.
Ticks require a blood meal at each stage of life in order to mature, and the female must engorge herself with blood to produce the thousands of eggs she lays. Hard ticks in general have a two-year life cycle, with eggs hatching in the spring. After fertilization by the male, and a blood meal, the female hard tick produces a single batch of up to several thousand eggs, and then she dies. These eggs are usually found in a secluded crevice of some sort. Only a small percentage of eggs make it all the way to maturity.
Dermacentor ticks spread diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Encephalitis, Tick Paralysis, Q Fever, and Tularemia. If a person is bitten by a tick and develops flu-like symptoms, a reddish rash around the site of the bite or arthritis-like joint pain, they should consult a doctor immediately.
Before treating the home, you must vacuum all rooms, wash all bedding and either wash or discard all animal bedding. After treatment has dried, vacuum again and discard bag.